The Maldives is one of the world's most sought-after travel destinations and receives hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The nation is also home to some of the world's best tourism brands and is an ever-present name on the world tourism stage.
With a status like this, it comes as no surprise that the country was among the worst affected when the global pandemic hit. The virus forced the Maldives to lock down its borders and weather the storm out until it can fully prepare itself for visitors again.
The nation reached this goal on July 15, when it effectively reopened its border. Maldives can now be easily noted as one of the safest nations to travel to. It has overcome the virus and made sure that it is the ideal location for visitors, transforming from the ultra-luxury paradise it was known as to a safe haven of ultra-luxury.
Here are the top five reasons why Maldives can be considered as the safest nation in the world right now.
1. Dispersed geography.
The nation is blessed with natural beauty. However, it is also one of the most geographically dispersed nations in the world. The end result is that it is a very isolated nation. Travelers would not come into contact with anyone other than the staff of the resort. Inter-travel in the nation is also safe because cases of the virus is very much limited to the capital Male' City.
2. Safe Travels stamp
Maldives is one of the few nations to be granted a safe travels stamp. This means that it has been recognized globally as a travel destination that people can travel to without worry. The stamp was granted by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), in recognition of the country’s efforts in implementing enhanced health and safety measures, in line with WTTC’s protocols.
3. Loyalty program: Maldives Border Miles
The nation has always been a revolutionary player in the industry. It has now taken this a step further with the introduction of the Maldives Border Miles, becoming the first nation in the world run a loyalty program. Under the Maldives Border Miles program, visitors will acquire points for each border crossing, and additional points for visits to celebrate special occasions. The visitors enrolled in this program will move through three tiers – bronze, silver, and gold – as they acquire points, which will earn them special benefits and privileges.
4. Stringent safety measures
Maldives made it mandatory for all tourists and short term visitors to present a negative PCR certificate upon entry. The decision was to ensure the safety of every and has resulted in extremely few instances of cases being identified from resorts. Tourists are also not required to complete or undergo any quarantine procedures.
Thermal scanning is arranged at points of entry and staff have also undergone training for any given circumstances, ensuring that travelers are indeed in safe hands. Authorities are also planning to create a COVID-19 safe corridor concept at Velana International Airport (VIA), where specifically cleared crewmembers, aircraft, and airport facilities can work.
5. More airlines resume, more resorts reopen
In the beginning, only a handful of airlines commenced operations. However, the very much connected aviation industry is also rumbling back to life alongside the tourism industry. Airlines such as Edelweiss, Aeroflot, IndiGo, Qatar, Turkish Air, Air India, and Etihad have already begun operations, while SilkAir, British Airways and FlyDubai are set to recommence soon. Emirates is already ramping up operations.
On the other hand, some of the best-known names in the tourism industry have recommenced operations. Names such as Soneva, Amilla Fushi, Heritance Aarah, and Sun Siyam resorts are among the more than 70 resorts now operational in the Maldives.