UNDP Maldives together with the Ministry of Tourism launched the inception of the Reimagining Tourism project on 29th March 2021. The Reimagining Tourism project is a joint initiative between the Government and UNDP Maldives to explore, develop and test pathways for making tourism in the country more inclusive, resilient and sustainable.
Yesterday’s inception workshop brought over 50 stakeholders in the tourism and development ecosystem, both within the country as well as globally.
Speaking at the opening ceremony for this inception workshop, the Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom emphasized the need to rethink tourism beyond government and private sector partnerships and stressed on the importance of engaging local communities in tourism planning and development to ensure greater dividends to communities. He described the project as an opportunity to “showcase and implement community based sustainable tourism development” in alignment with the government’s vision of diversifying tourism and empowering local communities. He expressed hopes that the success of the Reimagining Tourism project will be replicated in other parts of the country.
In her keynote address, the Resident Representative of UNDP Maldives Ms. Akiko Fujii further echoed the Minister’s sentiments and spoke about the need to think of a different future for tourism. She noted that the conversation of imagining a different future for tourism is not one that is happening in the Maldives alone, but rather that it is a global conversation with extreme relevance for Small Island Developing States (SIDs).
During the workshop, the UNDP Maldives team briefed participants on the future state that is being sought through the project, sharing details of the project outputs and activities. This was followed by an interactive crowd sourcing activity to gather information about past, present and current initiatives within the Atoll in various sectors that has various linkages to the project in identifying synergies. Additionally, participants also engaged in a stakeholder mapping and analysis exercise to map project stakeholders, with a focus on identifying unusual stakeholders who may also have an interest in the project and may be able to contribute to the achievement of the project outcomes and sustaining project benefits.
The reimagining tourism will be implemented with a focus on local tourism segment in Laamu Atoll, over a period of 18 months. The project is funded through UNDP Core Funds under its Rapid Financing Facility.
Remarks by Akiko Fujii, UNDP Resident Representative in the Maldives at at the Inception Workshop