The President of the Maldives has called on the country’s young people to embark in careers in the tourism industry.
Speaking in World Tourism Day on Saturday, Abdulla Yameen said that the tourism industry holds the key for youth employment and community development in the island nation.
“I call upon Maldivian youth to enter the tourism sector with renewed courage,” said the president. He also pledged greater opportunities for young people within the sector.
Tourism currently accounts for 25% of the Maldives’ GDP, with more than 100 island resorts now operating across the archipelago. But the Maldivian government has outlined plans to add 60 new resorts to its nationwide portfolio over the next five years, and has been actively encouraging overseas investment. Recently Outrigger Enterprise Group purchased the Konotta Island private island resort in the Gaafu Dhaalu Atoll.
And this new surge of development is expected to create new job opportunities for local Maldivians.
President Yameen has also outlined a plan to create new special economic zones and upgrade infrastructure in the Maldives’ outlying islands, in an effort to ensure an equal spread of development.
International visitor arrivals to the Maldives increased by 11% between August 2013 and August 2014, driven by new markets like China.