Business Tourism

Giyas: Guesthouses will contribute to over half of total bed capacity within 10 years

Guesthouses will contribute to over 50 per cent of the total tourism industry bed capacity within the next 10 years, says President of Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), Abdulla Giyas Riyaz.

Speaking at the MATATO Maldives Travel Awards 2018 – Guesthouse Edition held at Farukolhufushi Heritage Island at Hulhumale’ last Friday night, Giyas said the Maldives has 42,362 beds registered for tourists out of which 8,099 beds are at guesthouses.

“Guesthouses contribute to 19 per cent of total bed capacity at the Maldives. Hulhumale’ alone has 83 guesthouses and 1,750 beds, which is 22 per cent of the guesthouse bed capacity,” said Giyas.

Hulhumale’ is followed by Maafushi, which contributes to 13 per cent of total bed capacity of the guesthouse industry with 44 guesthouses and 1,026 beds, says Giyas.

Giyas said he expects the figure to increase with the opening of the Sinamale’ Bridge and development of Hulhumale’ Phase II.

“These are very interesting statistics. The guesthouse industry is nearing only its 10th year. But this is currently the most rapidly developing tourism sector in the country,” said Giyas.

“I predict guesthouses will contribute to over 50 per cent of total bed capacity in the entire tourism industry over the next 10 years.”

He said the development of guesthouse businesses is a global trend.

Taking the example of neighbouring Sri Lanka, Giyas said 60 per cent of tourists to the country stay at guesthouses or homestays. While 40 per cent of tourists who visit Indian Ocean nation Seychelles also stay at such accommodations.

“The demand is increasing for this industry as more new low-cost airlines launch operations to different destinations. This is a huge change to the industry. This change will remain sustained,” said Giyas.


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