The guesthouse market will control half of the Maldives tourist accommodation capacity by 2028, the Maldives Association of Travel Agencies and Tour Operators (MATATO) said.
MATATO president Abdulla Giyas Riyaz said that the guesthouse sector was the fastest developing sector of tourism in the country.
According to the Tourism Ministry the tourist accommodation capacity or bed capacity for the Maldives is 42,929 per night. This figure is divided among 792 establishments including high-end tourist resorts on private islands, guesthouses and hotels on inhabited local islands and cruise vessels.
Resorts controlled the majority of the accommodation capacity with over 30,000 beds, while 459 guesthouses had 8,000 beds between them as of July this year.
“19 percent of the bed capacity in the Maldives is controlled by the guesthouse sector. Hulhumalé alone has 1,750 beds in 83 guest houses,” Riyaz said.
While Malé’s suburb Hulhumalé has the majority of guesthouse beds, Maafushi has over 1,000 beds too. The rest are distributed among guesthouses scattered around other islands near the capital.
“These numbers are very interesting,” Riyaz said, “The guesthouse sector is just 10 years old. But this is the fastest growing sector in Maldivian tourism.”
“I estimate that within the next 10 years, 50 percent of the tourist bed capacity in Maldives will be controlled by guesthouses.”
Riyaz was speaking at the MATATO’s Maldives Travel Awards Guesthouse Edition, held in Hulhumalé.
Ukulhas in Alifu Alifu atoll took the top accolades, as the leading guesthouse island of the Maldives and leading beach island. Reveries Diving Village in Laamu atoll was named the leading guesthouse.