Guesthouses in the Maldives are in “desperate need” of government support, according to a tourism industry official.
Mohamed Karam, president of the Guesthouse Association of Maldives, told TTG Asia that more needs to be done to promote the growing sector.
The Maldives is famous for its high-end resorts, but the guesthouse industry aims to provide tourists with a more wallet-friendly alternative.
They also offer locals more immediate economic benefits, in terms of income and employment, and are touted as a more ‘authentic’ island experience.
“We desperately need more promotion. We depend on online sales and cannot afford individual marketing at trade shows,” Karam said.
“Local councils on islands where guesthouses are located must promote each island, its properties and the benefit of a visit. These guesthouses bring huge benefits to the islanders.
“Unlike all-inclusive resorts, guesthouse islands engage local communities to provide facilities like restaurants, swimming pools, spas, shopping and sporting activities.”
The Maldives has around 600 guesthouses across 76 islands, he told TTG Asia, whereas in 2010 there was just one guesthouse.