Weve been hearing a lot about vaccine passports and destinations getting creative with ways to lure travelerslike offering to subsidize your travel costs on a trip to Malta this summer. But a glamorous group of islands in the Indian Ocean just announced an idea we can get onboard with: The Maldives are planning to give travelers a Covid-19 vaccination when they arrive on vacation.
This new initiative, which the countrys tourism minister Abdulla Mausoom announced on CNBC, is just one part of three-pronged attempt to revive the countrys economy. Mausoom calls it a 3V strategyvisit, vaccinate and vacation. The date when it will go into effect hasnt been announced yet.
The idea comes on the heels of another creative concept that the Maldives cooked up in the past year: the worlds first-ever destination loyalty program. Called Maldives Border Miles, its like an airline frequent flier program, with travelers earning points based on the number of visits and the duration of their stay. Visitors can also earn additional points for celebrating special occasions in the Maldives.
Like many other destinations that depend on tourism, the Maldives has been hard hit during the pandemic. Tourism accounts for about 28% of the economy. Typically, upwards of 1.7 million visitors come to the Maldives every year. In 2020, the archipelago saw less than a third of that number, with 555,494 foreigners vacationing in these idyllic islandsthough that was actually considered a success story.
Sea plane flying above the Maldives, which has just announced that it will be offering vaccinations ... [+] to travelers.
Since July 2020, theMaldiveshas allowed travelers from any country to visitand it is trying to make it easier and easier. On April 16, the country announced that it will allow people who are fully vaccinated to enter, restriction-free, two weeks after their second dose. Unvaccinated foreign visitors must have a negative PCR test prior to departure. Visitors also have to download a national contact tracing app and use it during their journey.
TheCDC has the country at a level 4for a very-high level of Covid, though numbers have been decreasing in this island nation, with90new infections reported on average each day. According toReuters, about 28.6% of the countrys 500,000 residents are fully vaccinated, and Mausoom says that 90% of its front-line tourism workers have been vaccinated.
Given the prospect of this exciting new initiative, we think its an ideal time to start dreaming about a trip to these dreamy islands. Check out a few of the most beautiful places in the Maldives.
Six Senses Laamu, Maldives
Six Senses Laamu,Maldives
An idyllic palm-fringed paradise, Six Senses Laamu,Maldives combines luxury and sustainability. An award-winning marine conservation initiative based at the resort focuses on research, guest education and community outreach goals. And for budding conservationists age 6 to 16, theres a unique Junior Marine Biology program.
Anantara Kihavah Villas's underwater SEA restaurant.
Anantara Kihavah Villas
A promise of great adventures awaits at Anantara Kihavah Villas. Go snorkeling with manta rays, stargaze at the only overwater observatory in theMaldives and enjoy fine dining underwater at SEA, the worlds first oceanic restaurant and wine cellar. The resort also has the largest collection of private pool residences in the world.
Soneva Jania collection of island sanctuaries and overwater villas set within a lagoon of crystal-clear waterscaters to everyone from kids to honeymooners. With the new Soneva Academy, children aged 12 and up can take a series of educational courses that cover a range of fascinating topics relevant to the Maldives, from Marine Life to the Night Sky to Zero Waste. (The program is also offered at sister property Soneva Fushi.)
Hurawalhi Maldives and its underwater restaurant.
An adults-only paradise, HurawalhiMaldivesis famous for its 5.8 Underwater Restaurant. Its located in theLhaviyaniAtoll, where there are more than 50 dive sites within easy reach.
For ocean and beach lovers,COMO Maalifushi is well regarded for its diving and surf breaks. One of the newest water excursions is theWhale Shark Night Snorkel. Guests are taken on a boat from the resort to find the largest fish in the sea. The clear Maldivian waters allow for an aquarium-like view of the gentle giants.
Soneva in Aqua yacht.
Soneva in Aqua
Travelers can now set sail from the barefoot luxury resortSoneva Fushi on a new four-day, three-night Goidhoo experience aboardSoneva in Aqua. The yacht offers an ultra-luxurious escape to the island of Goidhoo, which can only be reached by boat and offers a rare untouched paradise full of vibrant marine life and corals.
Niyama Private Islands Maldives
Niyama Private Islands Maldives
Set on two islands, Niyama Private IslandsMaldives is the only luxury resort in theMaldiveswith its own wave breaking onto the shore. After a day of surfing, guests can hang out at the Surf Shack with its tomato-red food truck, comfy bean bags and seaside swings, relaxing to a reggae soundtrack. The hotels 134 villas, suites and pavilions are dotted along the beaches and extend out over the lagoon
The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands
The Ritz-CarltonMaldives, Fari Islands
The Ritz-CarltonMaldives, Fari Islands aims tobring families together, spark curiosity in young minds and challenge the notion that getting away from it all means sitting still.There are 30 different activities for kids, including several adventures with Jean-Michel Cousteaus Ambassadors of the Environment Programfrom anislandtreasure hunt to a bike safari round the resort.
Velaa Private Island
Velaa Private Island
In 2020,Velaa Private Islandplanted 2,000 new corals and is now seeing a surge in tropical fish and thriving marine life in the transplant areas.This year, Velaa offers eco-conscious guests the chance to shadow the coral biologists by collecting research as they snorkel and plant new corals themselves.
Skydiving at The Nautilus Maldives.
The Nautilus Maldives
The NautilusMaldives has launched a new adrenaline-fueled adventure:skydiving, allowing adrenaline-lovers to jump from heights of 12,000 feet above the Indian Ocean and enjoy a full 360-degree view of the baa atoll.
Kudadoo Maldives Private Island
Kudadoo Maldives Private Island
An exclusive resort with 15 overwater villas, KudadooMaldivesPrivate Island has a fully-inclusive Anything, Anytime, Anywhere approach.All private dining, access to an expansive wine cellar, spa treatments and water experiences are fully included in the price per night.
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