The Maldives will implement a “3V Program” — “visit, vaccinate, and vacation” — in an effort to draw travelers back and help the nation meet its goal of seeing 1.5 million tourist arrivals this year, Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom told CNBC on Wednesday.
Although the timeline to vaccinate visitors wasn’t immediately clear, Minister Mausoom said it wouldn’t start until after residents were inoculated.
“The main idea of tourism being open is to provide a reasonably safe tourism [experience] with minimum inconvenience,” Mausoom said, adding nearly 90% of tourism frontline workers have received their first dose. “So once the country gets vaccinated, then we will move on to ‘3V’ tourism.”
So far, about 67 percent of residents have received at least one dose of a vaccine. He assured that the supply of vaccine will not be an issue for the Maldives.
“I don’t think supply is a problem in Maldives because our population is relatively small,” he said. “The quota we get from the various organizations and friendly countries also will help.”
So far, about 350,000 tourists have visited the Maldives in 2021, mainly arriving from India and Russia.