Deputy Minister for Tourism Mohamed Maleeh Jamal has backed President Dr Mohamed Waheed Hassan Manik's proposal to the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa for the two countries to promote tourism jointly.
Maleeh said that the brand of tourism promoted by Sri Lanka and that of the Maldives are different thus no conflict would arise from both countries conducting tourism promotion together.
“Maldivian tourism and Sri Lankan tourism are very different. Most tourists visit Sri Lanka to experience the cultural and traditional attractions. But on the contrary, tourists visit the Maldives to see the natural beauty of the country and the underwater scenery. The Caribbean region markets their tourism collectively, and very good results have been yielded from it,” Maleeh said.
He explained that if the Maldives and Sri Lanka market both countries tourism collectively it will greatly benefit both nations. He also highlighted that if marketing could be carried out in a manner which directed tourists visiting Sri Lanka to the Maldives then it would be an extra push for increased visits to the Maldives.
Some companies currently do promote the Maldives and Sri Lanka as one destination and given the results of such joint marketing has not been detrimental in any manner, if both countries joined forces several travel fairs can also be held in the region.
British tourists visit Sri Lanka currently more than they do to the Maldives, but the Tourism Ministry pointed out that despite that the Maldives and Sri Lanka are not competitive markets and that tourists visiting Sri Lanka are not of the same standard as that of the Maldives.