Very soon travellers vacationing in the Maldives will be able to receive a vaccine during their stay.
As one of the countries in the world whose economy is most dependent on tourism (approximately 85% of its GDP is generated by tourism, according to 2019 World Bank data), the Maldivian government has launched a scheme nicknamed “3V tourism”, which would allow tourists to “Visit, Vaccinate, and Vacation”.
However, the scheme will not be launched until the entire local population of the Maldives, estimated at approximately 550,000 people, will be vaccinated. At the moment, slightly more than 50% have received the vaccine, of which 90% of those working in the hospitality business. “The main idea of tourism being open is to provide a reasonably safe tourism with minimum inconvenience – said Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, the Maldivian minister for tourism – So once the country gets vaccinated, then we will move on to ‘3V’ tourism”, CNBC reports.
The country is planning to fully re-open to international visitors next July, since at the moment only the approximately 500 resorts scattered on the atolls composing the archipelago are accepting tourists, who however are not allowed to enter the country’s capital Malé.
A target of 1.5 million visitors has been set for 2021, which will still be below of what the country needs to jumpstart its travel economy, minister Maussom said to the Conde Nast Magazine.
The country will receive vaccine doses through the World Health Organization (WHO) program Covax, which is intended to provide vaccines to countries unable to produce their own. Donations have also been received from India and China. However, it appears unsure how a program that is aimed at securing vaccines for developing world nations can be used to fuel a scheme like “3V tourism” that plans to generate a revenue stream from vaccinating wealthy individuals who would probably be able to source their vaccine elsewhere.
According to the John Hopkins University of Medicine, the Maldives has seen 26,145 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since February 2020 and reported only 69 deaths, of which only 5 in the past month.