Smart talk plans

Maldives prides itself on being a destination that plans well: tourism minister

The Maldives prides itself on being a well-planned destination, says Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom.

The Maldivian Tourism Minister made the statement 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.

Minister Mausoom said that as a destination the biggest question, especially when it comes to resilience, is how fast you need to go. Whether you should slow down or not. As such, he stressed that reference to data is important when making decisions, especially in terms of product planning, development and monitoring.

Emphasizing that we have access to limitless sources of information, thanks to advances in technology, the Minister said he believes that decisions should be made on the basis of this information, particularly with regard to matters such as as global warming and sea level rise. As such, the Minister emphasized that the Maldives prides itself on being a destination that plans well, to manage the environment and benefit the people.

Stating that in product planning, even our typical tourism product, the concept of developing an island, a resort, is undergoing many changes, Minister Mausoom said that if we were to wait another 50 years to see what would happen if we used new technologies to develop a particular product, it will be too late. He said that we have the ability to use the latest technological developments to know exactly what is going to happen.

Minister Mausoom stressed that using improved technology to gather data for use in planning and product development will help improve the tourism sector. He said these technological advances can be used with certain limitations for surveillance purposes in tourist facilities, which makes the task easier.

Additionally, the minister said technology can be used to improve the experiences of tourists visiting the destination.

Emphasizing that the latest advances in technology allow us to collect data from around the world, Minister Mausoom said it is high time the tourism industry used these resources to make evidence-based decisions. He said the decisions made, once you have all the correct variables, will be stronger and better.

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.