Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom said the Maldives is a strong destination because the country ensures that human interaction remains.

Minister Mausoom said this during the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Ministerial Roundtable on Smart Tourism for Sustainable Recovery in Asia and the Pacific, held at Crossroads Maldives Resort, Tuesday, June 14, 2022.

In his opening remarks during the Ministerial Roundtable, the Maldivian Tourism Minister emphasized that even though the Maldives is celebrating its 50th anniversary of tourism, the start of the industry has been very humble and basic.

Noting that tourism has always been about human interaction, he said the Maldives is hanging on to it even with developments in technology and digitalization. Minister Mausoom said the Maldives always gives the tourist the opportunity to mingle with the community and keep the human interaction alive, and noted that this is why destinations like the Maldives are strong and why the Maldives is a repeated destination among tourists.

Pointing out that digitalization could remove this human-to-human interaction to some extent, Minister Mausoom said that these technological advances can be used to improve the tourism industry. As such, he said digital information can be used to have personalized conversations with tourists. Information about the tourist’s last visit to the country can be easily made available, with the latest technology, giving staff the opportunity to have a personal and close conversation with the tourist, giving them the opportunity to increase interaction human and to create a strong bond.

The Minister of Tourism also said that technology is very important for the Maldives in terms of destination management. Stating that we need to use capacity management techniques in the years to come, as some very fragile reef systems and surf spots require sustained monitoring through advanced digital systems.

Stating that the Maldives looks forward to using digital technology to improve visitor experience and communication with local communities, Minister Mausoom said the technology will help the country identify its resource utilization capacity.

The UNWTO Ministerial Roundtable on Smart Tourism for Sustainable Recovery in Asia and the Pacific brought together the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture of Malaysia, Dato’ Sri Nancy Shukri, Deputy Minister of Tourism and of Creative Economy of Indonesia, Angela Tanoesoedibjo, Deputy Minister of International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan, Yasuhiro Okanishi, Deputy Minister of Community Tourism and Culture, Ministry of Tourism, Commerce and Industry of Timor-Leste, d’Inácia da Conceição Teixeira, Director, Innovation, Education and Investments of UNWTO, Natalia Bayona, Director General of Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO), Christopher Cocker, Director General of Airports Council International Asia-Pacific (ACI), Stefano Baronci and General Manager of Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Liz Ortigera.