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Maldives offers new mid-market tourism

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Focused mid-market offers are eagerly anticipated

After 40 years as a one-island, one-resort destination catering to the upscale market, the Maldives is now promoting mid-market offers under a new tourism policy, TTG Asia reports.

“We are moving to a vertical tourism concept with high-rise accommodation facilities. We also need beds in the mid-market category,” said Adam Mohamed, director of the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.

One reason for adopting the vertical concept is that existing resorts do not have any capacity to expand. According to local regulations, they can only use 30% of the island for infrastructure development.

In July, the government launched the Thumburi Integrated Resort Development on the uninhabited twin islands of Thumburi and Hulhiyandhoo in Laamu Atoll in the northern Maldives, to build 200 rooms in 23 units under three different categories, including guesthouses, and a few four- to five-storey hotels. The project is due for completion in 2015 and aims to offer cheaper accommodation.

The focused mid-market offers, aimed at Asians, especially the Chinese, as well as Europeans, are eagerly anticipated by the trade.

“There is a huge demand for mid-market offerings from Chinese and European travellers. It would also help bring down prices in the upmarket range,” said Shafraz Fazley, managing director of Viluxor Holidays, which handles part of the Chinese market.

Having several hotels on one island could add new experiences. Thumburi is on uninhabited islands where hotels would be allowed to sell alcohol. Currently in many guesthouses and hotels in Male and other islands alcohol, pork and bikinis are prohibited.

TTG Asia

[pictured: Thumburi Integrated Resort Development visualisation]

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