Maldives, April 19 (Indian Express) – While 2021 feels like a rehash of 2020, albeit with the availability of vaccines in many countries, travelling still seems like a luxury to many. With the second wave of the coronavirus plaguing many lives, it is being advised that people stay at home as much as possible.
Maldives, however, in an effort to boost its tourism sector, has announced plans to offer tourists the COVID-19 vaccine. The South Asian archipelago’s Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom, in an interview with CNBC, made the announcement of a ‘3V’ plan that stands for ‘Visit’, ‘Vaccinate’, ‘Vacation’, as an incentive to visit the country.
“The main idea of tourism being open is to provide reasonably safe tourism with minimum inconvenience. So, once the country gets vaccinated, then we will move on to ‘3V’ tourism,” Mausoom said.
The report states that Maldives is heavily dependent on its tourism industry. As such, the vaccine will be given to visiting tourists once all residents and nationals have been vaccinated.
Mausoom also stated that so far 90 per cent of “frontline tourism workers have been fully vaccinated”, while approximately half of the population has received “at least one dose”.
“I don’t think supply’s a problem in Maldives because our population is relatively small,” Mausoom was quoted as saying. “The quota we get from the various organisations and friendly nations also will help.”
The report also states that Maldives has received 3,50,000 arrivals this year, as holidaymakers — primarily from India — take advantage of the country’s limited entry requirements.
At the moment, Maldives is accepting visitors with a negative PCR test taken less than three days before travel, or who are fully vaccinated. This new plan to roll out vaccine packages makes it the first country to do so.