The Maldives are now recognized as one of the most exotic tourist destinations in the world, surpassing their image as a fishing nation for decades.

The main tourist attraction is the resort islands which have the motto “One Island, One Resort” which means that one hotel occupies the entire island.

After landing at Velana International Airport in the capital city of Male, a visitor can take the taxis lined up alongside the boats. The price is fixed, so there is no haggling.

The hotels, streets and beaches by the sea are sparkling clean. There are benches, swings and hammocks on the beach where tourists can stop for a break.

The Bangladesh High Commission in the Maldives is located in the Hulhumalé region, near Malé.

The area does not have a luxury resort, but there are small hotels and cafes on the beach and all along the road.

A four-story hotel stands on an area of ​​approximately 1,250 square feet on the beach. Although the rooms are quite small, a stay costs $ 70 to $ 100 per night.

Nahid, a Bangladeshi citizen and hotel manager, says the price for space in Male and the surrounding area is high. The hotel he runs is small, but costs 18 million Maldivian rufiyaa, or 90 million Tk (1 Maldivian Rufiyaa equals 5.55 Tk).

“Many tourists spend a few nights in these hotels before heading to the island’s seaside resorts. We charge extra because of the investment, taxes and higher operating costs, ”he said.

Despite the high cost of travel to the Maldives, millions of tourists flock to this small island every year. The World Tourism Organization recognized the Maldives as the best tourist destination in 2019.

According to the “Yearbook of Tourism Statistics, 2019 Edition” published by the Maldives Tourism Board, there were only 280 beds in tourist hotels in the Maldives in 1972. By 2020, the number had skyrocketed at 51 827.

From 2016 to 2019, 62% of these accommodations at various resorts, hotels, guesthouses and safari boats were booked. But it fell to 25% in 2020 due to the pandemic.

Most of the tourists who come here are Europeans. In 2020, 62.7% of tourists to the country were from Europe, 25.6% from Asia-Pacific and 5.8% from the United States.

Most of the buildings in the Malé and Hulhumale districts have three floors. There is no garbage in the streets. Residents park cars and motorcycles in designated parking spaces on the road. Each residential area has its own park or children’s play area. There are buses and ferries to travel around the city.

Rear Admiral Mohammad Nazmul Hassan, Bangladesh’s High Commissioner to the Maldives, believes that Bangladesh can learn a lot from the Maldives when it comes to the tourism sector.

On December 5, at the Bangladesh mission in Male, he told reporters that 70 percent of the Maldives’ foreign exchange earnings come from tourism. The main tourist attraction here are the resort islands, he said.

“They have this ‘One Island, One Resort’ policy. Each company has their own rules on island resorts here. They have leased the islands on the same terms from the government of Maldives. No part of the government of Maldives or their agencies are there. ‘never interferes with their internal management.

The Maldives, made up of nearly 1,200 small islands, is approximately 298 square kilometers, but the total land area of ​​this island state, including seas, is 90,000 square kilometers.

According to the tourism directory report, of the 1,192 islands in the country, only 187 have establishments and 860 are uninhabited. Among these, there are 159 seaside resorts.

High Commissioner Nazmul Hassan said government agencies are working on quality control on the resort islands.

“Almost all of the best brands of hotels and resorts in the world are here. From time to time, government officials make surprise visits. Irregularities are first reported and then action is taken against them. This is the main reason for the development of the tourism industry in the Maldives. “

“Our experiences of the tourism industry here have been passed on to the Bangladesh Tourism Corporation. If this experience can be used, our tourism industry will improve as well, ”he said.

According to Tourism Yearbook Data, Maldivian government revenue in 2016 was R18,578 million, with tourism accounting for 34.8% of the amount.

Before the pandemic, in 2019, the turnover was 21,161 million rufiyaa. Of these, direct tourism receipts amounted to 7,708 million rufiyaa, or 34.9%.

Mir Saiful Islam, founding president of the Bangladesh Community Welfare Association, an organization of Bangladeshi expatriates in the Maldives, arrived in the Maldives in 1984 as a teacher.

Saiful, who grew up in Dhaka, said, “Various government agencies closely monitor the quality of hotels and cafes. You cannot influence them. In addition, rules and regulations are observed in all areas of traffic, trade and commerce.

Bangladesh now has better connectivity with the archipelagic nation. US-Bangla Airlines, a Bangladeshi airline, recently launched direct flights from Bangladesh to the Maldives. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said Biman Bangladesh Airlines is also preparing to introduce flights to the Maldives soon.