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An air services agreement has been signed between the EU and Maldives, that will replace some existing bilateral treaties.

This development will streamline many issues related to air travel between EU countries and the Maldives providing easier access for passengers and cargo.
European tourist form about 80% of the Maldives tourist market.

The Ministry of Tourism has called for public bids on estimated costs for the construction of a city hotel complex on the site of the present Nasandhura Palace Hotel and the adjoining former Air Maldives offices.

It has been reported that the hotel  will cater to different segments of the market with a special focus on the convention market.

The Ministry is providing details of the project to potential bidders on Monday the 26th of September.

The Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation has leased seven island to be developed as tourists resorts to the Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC).

5 resorts will be developed on these seven islands as 2 of the islands will be built as one resort.
The island of Heretere in Addu leased to the MTDC earlier is already under construction. The new islands leased are in Haa Dhaalu, Noonu, Baa, Dhaalu, Laamu, Gaaf Alif and Gaaf Dhaal Atolls.
The MTDC has invited expressions of interest from the public who wish to participate in a company to be formed to develop some of the new resorts. The MTDC will hold 51% shares in the proposed company.

The developers of Villingili in Addu Atoll, Shangri La Maldives have said that the resort will be completed by the end of December next year, local media reports revealed. The project is estimated to cost about US $ 80 million (one billion rufiyaa) Shangri La Maldives was quoted as saying that development of the resort was delayed due to modifications of the plan. New plans are expected to be finalized within the next 2 weeks, according to reports. The major change has been in the resort’s capacity, changing from 200 Rooms (400 beds) to 112 villas (224 beds). The villas are to be imported and assembled on the resort.

Indian Airlines is to operate a daily flight between the Maldives and the Southern city of Bangalore in India, the carrier's office in Male' revealed.

 The Bangalore flight would ease the difficulties now faced by passengers with only one flight between the Maldives and India operated at present. The daily flight between Male' and Trivandrum in Kerala state is also used, at present, by passengers flying between Male’ and Indian states and cities other than Trivandrum such as Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai (Medras).
Fares for the two hour flight have not been revealed but the station in Male' was quoted as saying that these would not be much higher than that of the Trivandrum sector.

The four additional  regional airports that are to be built in the country would serve not just the tourism industry but provide convenience and access to the wider traveling public, Transport Minister Mohamed Saeed has said. The four additional  regional airports that are to be built in the country would serve not just the tourism industry but provide convenience and access to the wider traveling public, Transport Minister Mohamed Saeed has said.

These regional airports are also seen as being crucial to the success of the 35 new tourist islands to be built over the next 2 years.

The regional airports, to be built in Shaviyani, Dhaalu, Thaa and Gaafu Dhaalu Atolls, would also accommodate on each of the 4 islands a tourist resort or hotel to generate more income. Operation of a stand-alone regional airport is not seen as being viable financially.

Three of the islands are inhabited and accruing socioeconomic benefit to the island communities was a vital consideration in the choice of the islands, it was revealed.

Two other regional airports, in Lhaviyani and South Ari Atoll, have already been identified for development.

The Maldives Tourism Development Corporation (MTDC) is inviting expression of interest from Maldivian nationals to enter into joint venture partnership with the corporation.

In a public announcement, MTDC revealed that the JV company would be formed with 51% shareholding by that corporation and 49% shareholding by interested Maldivians.

The JV company would undertake the development of tourist resorts on some of the 15 islands to be leased to the MTDC by the government.

The MTDC is issuing forms until 20th September to be filled by interested Maldivians above the age of 18 who do not hold shares in a tourist resort in the Maldives.

These applicants must be willing to invent Rf 100 thousand in the proposed JV company, the MTDC said.

The Maldives Tourism Promotion Board has today announced the free holiday winner of the World Cup Quiz that ran in the FIFA Official Guide during the FIFA World Cup in Germany this year.

<This quiz was planned as part of a campaign launched by the Maldives to promote ‘the sunny side of life’ in Europe.
Ms. Rosa Garcia Mayoral from Spain was announced as the lucky winner of a ‘one week in the Maldives for 02 persons’ after a draw was taken among 408 participants from all over Europe.
Football fans from across Europe were able to participate in this draw which was advertised on the FIFA Official Guide in English, French, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Dutch and Swedish language.
The Maldives has been enjoying a promising season for its tourism so far this year. Visitors from Europe share 78 percent of the total tourist arrivals to the Maldives. The island nation welcomed over 340,400 tourists until the end of July this year and is well on its way to achieving the target to exceed the arrival numbers of 2004.


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