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Male', 26th April. A team from the Ministry of Tourism is to visit Addu Atoll to determine the progress of the ongoing tourist resort development projects in the atoll, the Ministry revealed.

The team would ascertain if physical construction had begun on the city hotel on the island of Hankede and progress of the resorts being built on Villingili and Herethere.
Tourism Minister Dr. Mahmood Shouge has said that the appropriate penalties would apply to delayed projects. He said the important consideration was for the people of Addu Atoll to benefit from tourism development in the Atoll

Trans Maldivian Airways, has placed an order of 5 seaplanes to add to its present fleet of 16 seaplanes, the company revealed.

TMA said the Canadian manufacturer of the seaplane had earlier stopped production of these aircraft but had renewed production and the seaplanes are expected to be delivered in 2009.
The price of the seaplanes range between US$ 1.5 to 2 million each, it was revealed.
Earlier this week TMA announced plans to begin operations of a 50 seat ATR 42 aircraft on the Male' to Gan sector. The aircraft was delivered to Maldives earlier this week.

The government of Maldives has yet to secure a positive arrangement with an international airline to form a national airline of the Maldives, Minister of Finance Gasim Ibrahim has told parliament.

Mr. Gasim said that the government had last held talks with Qatar Airways but the talks had not been successful.
The government of Maldives has been seeking to form a national airline after the collapse of Air Maldives, a joint venture between the Maldives and a Malaysian company. 

The Maldives could be facing difficulty in catering to mid-range or charter market tourists if present trends in resort development continue, TUL's longhaul manager, Melf Turtis said.

Speaking after meeting with tourism Minister Mahmood Shaugee, Mr.Turkis said that mid-range hotels form an important segment of a tourist destination and should not  be ignored.
Charter market tourists form the  majority of arrivals to the Maldives. Dr. Shougee has said the government was working towards facilitation of more mid-range resorts over the next 3 years.

Maldivian nationals form over 60% of passengers travelling on Air Sahara flights between Male' and Trivandrum, in India, the airline's agent in Male' revealed.

Those of other nationalities, travelling as tourists were few, in was revealed.
Air Sahara which began the Trivandrum / Male' service operates Delhi / Cochin / Trivandrum / Male', returning the same route.
There were few Indians travelling as tourists to the Maldives because of lack of information and high tourist accommodation costs in the Maldives, the carrier said.

Tenders are to be issued soon for the development of transit resorts / hotels on 3 islands with regional (domestic) airports, Hanimadhoo, Kadhoo and Kaadedhoo.

Hanimaadhoo is in the north of the country while the other airports are in the southern atolls.
The Ministry of Tourism has also revealed that ten resorts / hotels would be developed on islands with new regional (domestic) airports. Five islands have already been identified.
Meanwhile, an operating license had been given to the resort on Alidhoo island , Haa Alif Atoll, one of eleven islands awarded in 2005 for resort development.
 

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