Maldives sign agreement to support island tourism development with UNDP
The Maldives government has signed an agreement to support local island tourism with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The aim is to promote community-based sustainable, resilient and inclusive tourism development as well as to transform tourism in the Maldives with a focus on diversification.
The agreement, Reimagining Tourism project, which was signed on Wednesday, will support the reskilling of young people and women for greater participation in the tourism value chain. The project is worth MVR 4.7 million, according to Raajje.mv.
According to the tourism ministry the project will pave the way to bigger roles for local councils in the planning of tourism and intertwining the tourism industry to the country’s traditional knowledge and livelihoods.
According to Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom the local councils will be able to fully utilise the authority assigned to them under the Decentralization Act, through the newly signed ‘Reimagining Tourism’ project.
The tourism ministry highlighted that the project will support sustainable local island tourism development planning through conducting training programmes for local stakeholders on sustainable tourism, as well as creating sustainability opportunities for tourism development in local islands and the creation of a decentralized local tourism audit mechanism alongside incorporating sustainability indicators.
UNDP Resident Representative Akiko Fujii said that the reliance of the economy of the Maldives on tourism is seen in the numbers.
“With over 26.3 percent direct contribution, and 70 percent indirect contribution to the GDP, it is no surprise that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been felt across multiple sectors along with the tourism sector,” he was quoted by the newspaper.
The rapid livelihood assessment, which was conducted by the Maldives Government and UNDP, showed that the ripple effect of these consequences had impacted construction, transport, wholesale and retail businesses.
Fujii also said that the project will also “support opportunities to market local tourism.
Funded through the UNDP Core Funds under its ‘Rapid Financing Facility’, the ‘Reimagining Tourism’ project will be implemented across Laamu atoll with the local tourism development focus, over an 18-month period.
The project mirrors the UNDP’s commitment to supporting Small Island Developing States recover from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, sustainably.