Going by accounts of airline crew and a few tour operators, it appears that the number of tourists coming to the Maldives has registered a decline in the last few days.
A senior European Diplomat said that the clashes might see one or the other side come out on top. “But what people have seen on BBC and AlJazeera will make them think twice about coming here on a visit,” he said. Already, United Kingdom has issued a travel advisory, while many other countries are contemplating on similar advisories.
“So far, the trouble was only in Male and the rest of the islands were safe. After yesterday’s incidents [of violence in many atolls] I think we need to advice visitors,” said another Western diplomat.
A Maldivain tour operator, Nabeel Abdulla, claimed on micro-blogging site Twitter that two flights from China to Maldives have been cancelled. “Chinese operators advising travellers to choose Mauritius over Maldivesfor safe travel,” he said in one tweet. “Resorts close to Male' getting more cancellations as per local DMCs,” he said in another
But the Indian hotel giant, Taj, said that there was “no noticeable drop” in tourist arrivals. Speaking to The Hindu from Colombo, Rohit Khosla, who heads Taj Hotels operations in Sri Lanka and Maldives, said that there was absolutely no panic. “Occupancy is good and business is steady,” he said when asked if numbers are declining. He added that the hotel did not witness cancellations so far.