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Tourists who wish to travel to the Maldives can now access information about the country from its Virtual Embassy, created on Second Life, a web-based fantasy world.

Second Life, created by a San Francisco company, Linden Lab, is attracting several real-world companies.
The Maldives Virtual Embassy will have a computer-generated character, an "avatar", to deal with visitors.
A Maldivian Foreign Office Spokesman said the Virtual Embassy "offers another channel for us to provide information on the country, to offer our view points on issues of international concern and to interact with our partners in the international community".

Many of the workers undertaking the construction of the resort on Herathere are shareholders in the MTDC, the Maldives Tourism Development Corporation, the company's MD, Mohamed Solih revealed.

Mr. Solih quoted in a travel feature in the Sunday Times, UK, said that all workers on Herathere were Maldivian
The 600 bed resort in Addu Atoll is due to open in November this year. It is one of 15 resorts being developed by the MTDC, a public-private partnership in which 55% shares were sold to the public last year.

Maldivian tourist resorts recorded more than 96% average occupancy over the first 3 months this year, the Ministry of Tourism revealed. Bednights registered were over 1.5 million for the period.

Tourist arrivals for the period also grew by 16% compared to the same period in 2006. Over 194 thousand arrivals were recorded January to end March this year, the Tourism Ministry revealed.
Italy, the UK and France are the top 3 markets for the Maldives at present.

A survey has been done on the Dhoondiguam area of Fuamulaku Island for a proposed domestic airport, media reports said.

The airport on Fuamulaku would mean that air connection would be possible to the 3 southern most atolls of the Maldives, with airports already operating in Addu Atoll and Huvadhu Atoll.
The government has earlier also leased a plot of land for development of a tourist hotel on Fuamulaku.
The progress of the project is unclear.

The Hulhumale Development Corporation (HDC) has announced bidding for the lease and development of a 5-star hotel on the reclaimed island of Hulhumale.

The 500 bed hotel, which was planned earlier to be built in Male' and now transferred to the new island could be built in 2 phases, the HDC said, with 300 beds by 30 months of signing the lease agreement and 200 beds by 108 months from signing the lease.
The land for the hotel would be leased for 25 years, it was revealed.
A pre-bid meeting is scheduled for 23rd May and bids would be opened on 20th June, a public notice by the HDC said.


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