President Nasheed has said that the government’s plan was to create mid-market tourism in the Maldives. The President made this statement while speaking at a meeting held tonight with tour operators.

At the meeting, the President said that during the early years of tourism in the Maldives, it had catered to a wider range of tourist market. Noting the importance of expanding and diversifying the Maldives’ tourism, President Nasheed discussed with the tour operators on expanding the tourism sector to clienteles of all income ranges.

The tour operators said that facilitating the operation of cheaper charter flights in the Maldives would be step towards the expansion of tourism.

The President was accompanied at the meeting by the Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad; Minster of Housing, Transport and Environment, Mohamed Aslam; and, Maldivian High Commissioner-designate to the UK, Dr Farhanaz Faizal.

Separately, President Nasheed met with Sir Peter Graham who is an advisor on environment to Queen Elizabeth II. The meeting was attended by the Special Envoy of the President, Mr Ibrahim Hussain Zaki; Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Ahmed Shaheed; Minster of Housing, Transport and Environment, Mr Mohamed Aslam; Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Dr Ahmed Ali Sawad; and, Minister of Economic Development, Mr Mohamed Rasheed.

President Nasheed and Madam Laila Ali arrived at London early this evening. The President and First Lady were welcomed at the Heathrow Airport by Foreign Secretary’s representative, Maldivian High Commissioner in the UK and other officials of the Maldives High Commission.