• 19
  • Jan 2022
  • January 19, 2022
  •   Travel Connection

Yes, it has been long 50 years since Maldives, the nation of islands and lagoons, has introduced the endless happiness of nature-chic hospitality before the world. What started as a one-resort destination with limited amenities but rustic comfort a long ago is now one of the best and unique tourist destinations around the globe, which redefined the concept of modern-world sheltering and comfort for itself.

Let history mark this, the Maldives will celebrate throughout 2022 the country’s golden jubilee of beach island tourism. On this occasion of golden jubilee, there is a bit of background story to the emerging of the Maldives that we would love for sure.

Maldives looked like and indeed was a quite unlikely tourist destination up until 1972. Far away on the Indian Ocean, it existed nothing more than a chain of atolls with numerous islands which were inhabited by humble farmers and fishers. The only flight access to the country was that small airport on Hulhule island that did not receive regular flight either. Needless to say, the infrastructure, basic facilities, transportation and means to contact all remained undeveloped.

The meeting that took place in Sri Lanka between an Italian travel agent, named George Corbin, and Ahmed Naseem, a member of Maldives embassy, was the real game changer to the present day’s Maldives tourism. George Corbin was in search of some natural islands for Italian tourists. They together roamed around Male’ in a cargo ship in 1971 and Corbin was so content with the beauty of the Maldives. In February 1972 he ushered in a few journalists and photographers to the Maldives and provided accommodation in humble houses on the beach in Male’. Everyone of the team was totally spellbound by the pristine existence of the Maldives.

Upon the assurance that more tourists would visit Maldives provided that there was proper sheltering, Maldives made its first-ever private island resort, Kurumba Maldives, on Vihamanaafushi island, which was a secluded island with huge amount of palm trees. Although this new tourist island has a close proximity to Male’ and the airstrip, guests had to make their way to the shore through ankle-high surf and waves from the boats since there was no jetty at that moment.

In the beginning facilities were so scarce but not the elegance of surroundings. Kurumba then had just thirty rooms with thatched roof, coconut timber walls, and coral stone foundation. Meals were mostly local-flavored and served in unevolved canteens. Be known, that decades-old resort born in October 1972 is still receiving guests to its thoroughly revamped luxurious villas and amenities.

Currently, with nearly 200 resorts across 26 atolls, Maldives is truly a paradise of most-discerning global trotters who demand delight in every single moment of their getaway. The Maldives tourism offers the same beach island accommodation in different settings; namely, private island, local island and city island. In addition to underwater adventure-prone programs such as live-aboard, Maldives has successfully implemented homestay as well 2022 onwards.

Each year the Maldives witnesses the launch of various resorts and advent of world-renowned hospitality groups. When around 10 resorts were opened in 2021, an additional 12 are set to open in 2022. Needless to say, existing resorts undergo thorough renovation in the midst of all these.

A typical Maldives beach island resort is a full package of rustic yet luxury accommodation, international dining and limitless fun and recreation. The resorts in the Maldives come with beach and overwater villas, multiple restaurants and bars, spa and fitness centers, water sports and dive centers, public swimming pools, kid’s club, grounds for on-island games like tennis, badminton, tennis and even golf, private beaches, hubs for other highly-advanced technology-based recreations and access to a wide variety of excursions.

The important trait of Maldives’ beach island tourism is that it caters to the whims and fancies of all possible sorts of holiday-seekers; from couples to families, luxury-lovers to rustic-prone people, from beach bums to ocean-adventurers, and lone-wolves to party animals. Besides honeymoon and vacation, people choose the islands of the Maldives as the destination for their wedding and vows renewals.

Among all these bustle of immense tourism, it is to be noted that the Maldives never compromises with its environmental sustainability. Not a tiny portion of ocean, lagoons, beach, flora, fauna and pelagic creatures are harmed in the wake of tourism. Instead they are are nurtured in a big way by including various eco-friendly activities for visitors such as reef planting, reef sponsoring, and turtle rescue.

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