Outrigger Hotels and Resorts

Published on Sunday, September 19, 2021

Maldives resorts welcome red list removal

Indian Ocean island nation the Maldives is one of eight countries coming off the UK's red list.

It joins Sri Lanka, Oman, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kenya, Turkey and Egypt.

With fully jabbed travellers able to skip expensive quarantine on their return, it is hoped the decision spurs a surge in winter holiday bookings.

"We are delighted that the Maldives will be removed from the government's red list. The UK market has always been an incredibly important one for us, and in 2019, 35% of our customer base came from the UK, so it has been a difficult 18 months not having British guests visit our resorts," said Hussain Hilmy, Co-Founder and Board Director at Coco Collection.

The Maldives' removal takes effect from 22 September.

"Of course reassurance for our guests is of paramount importance, which is why we introduced on-site PCR testing now available at our resorts. In addition to this 85% of associates at Coco Bodu Hithi and 94% of associates at Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu have been vaccinated," Hussain Hilmy added.

Over half of the population of the Maldives is fully vaccinated.

Following Friday's announcement in the UK, there was an big rise in searches for Maldives holidays, the company said.

Global resort group Club Med also applauded the decision.

Estelle Giraudeau, Managing Director, UK & Northern Europe at Club Med said: "The reopening of international travel under the traffic light system has been nothing short of chaotic with ever changing and unclear rules. While there is still a long way to go in rebuilding consumer confidence, the overhaul of the traffic light system in favour of a new two-tier system is at least a step in the right direction."

"It has also been welcomed news to hear lateral flow tests will replace expensive PCR tests for double-jabbed travellers. High costs coupled with various logistical implications have resulted in international holidays not being possible or feasible for many."

Club Med said 63% of UK adults have delayed booking a holiday as they are put off by the cost of testing.

"Revenue for our resort in the Maldives, Kani, has increased by 100% in the past seven days compared with the week prior and search volume on our website for the Maldives is up by 64%," said Giraudeau.


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