The Maldives are planning “vaccination stay” packages for tourists in order to bolster their travel industry.
Maldives Minister of Tourism Dr Abdulla Mausoom has announced the Maldives’ “3V tourism” strategy, standing for “Visit, Vaccinate, and Vacation”. And while it may appear to be an unusual combination of elements, in pandemic times, other destinations might well follow suit.
The project is still in its infancy, but it could become a trend for tourists wishing to have a relaxed holiday linked to a Covid-19 vaccination. The Maldives have been fully open to international tourists since July last year, asking travellers only to provide a negative PCR test and proof of a hotel booking. The pandemic nevertheless had a devastating effect on tourism, with arrivals down from 1.75 million in 2019 to only 0.55 million last year.
Full details have not been revealed, but the implementation will only occur once the entire population of the islands has been vaccinated. By early April, 53% of the 531,000 Maldivians had received at least their first jab. Vaccination of front-line tourism workers is already higher than 90%.
Tourists will be able to receive vaccine jabs as long as they remain in situ between the two doses. The Minister, speaking on CNBC, did not elaborate as to which travellers would be eligible for the vaccine and how much it might cost.