Naagoshi to open in March 2013.

Naagoshi, Radisson plaza resort developed by Three K International sub leased by MTDC

According to work on the construction of Radisson Plaza Resort Maldives, Naagoshi  is 35% complete and is expected to open in march 2013.  The resort will have 281 land villas and 99 over-water villas and will operated by Three K International Private Limited. The island is in Northern Haa Dhaalu Atoll  which is 45 minutes by sea plane from Hulhule  International Airport.

V. Thinadhoo: a tourism success story untold!

The tiny island of Vaavu Thinadhoo is a tourism success story untold. This is an island of about 30  people (official census 55 as per and two guest houses. The guests live freely among locals and there is mutual love and respect on both sides. Most of the tourists that comes to the island are repeat guests who would not need any invitation to join dinner or lunch  in any house. The island provides guest with a real living adventurous version of holiday typical resorts do not provide to their guests. However the resort is for the traveller type of guests who would love fishing, snorkelling, playing chess with local elders, playing soccer with locals etc….

The idea of tourism in the island occurred to a local of the island and his Italian wife ( the island  medic),  both of them are well loved and respected by guests and islanders alike.  It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to create a fantastic tourism product from scratch and to keep up with guests every expectations continuously day in day out. Bravo to  Ellisa and Mongi for a job  well done and we wish them success.

Club Med Kanifinolhu Resort missing a tourist! reports that a tourist at Club Med Kanifinolhu Resort has gone missing yesterday. He was last seen swimming in the shallows of the island with another tourist. See the full story here…

To prevent such sad happenings, we believe resorts shall do more such as to employ life guards on the beach etc..Read our previous essay on this issue here.. and on a Tripadvisor thread here..

Spa closure order revoked.

The government has taken the expected u turn on spa closure ban policy taking fire across the board. We applaud the correct decision and hope everybody  involved learned a lesson. For the record we maintain that the spa ban was politically motivated and was a knee jerk reaction by the government following the 23rd December big demo. The opposition did not call or ask to ban all spas across the country and the big demo was not organized by radicals or extremists. Rather it was popular sentiment reacting against an unresponsive political climate.

It is our hope that political parties involved will refrain from inflaming political tensions and will not take actions which will damage the tourism product of the country.

Who got an off day for the happy newyear?

An interesting cartoon by our staff cartoon artist

Resort workers work hard during December and January in full occupancy, with Christmas and new year celebrations, while govt workers lazily while the time. However resort workers do not even get an off-day for the happy new year. The government worker gets January 1  as a public holiday which is  very unfair.

Most HR’s make a point of being ungenerous to staff when it comes to benefits to staff because it is generally perceived that the more aggressive and uncaring one is, the more easier he or she climbs another rung in the corporate ladder. This medieval mentality still persists in the best resorts in Maldives and it is no use to point out inconsistencies like this to HR robots.

For now it seems  only the force of law or threat of protests will prompt the uncaring employers to think that something is amiss in their interpretation of the public holiday list. To be prompted to be generous is one thing, being  generous is another.

The media circus continues…

If the stakes were lower, this could be hilarious; here are the newest twists in the story about the order to close spas

  • The government asks for legal advice (closest translation) from supreme court on the legality of sale of alcohol and pork. This in itself is funny because supreme court is nobody’s lawyer!
  • MATI, (resort workers arch enemy!) or the resort owner’s cartel is suing government for ordering closure of spas in resorts and seeking damages caused to the industry’s reputation. This in itself is funny if we consider that the secretary general of MATI is the husband of tourism minister! The dynamics of suing a person’s own wife as part of the job will no doubt be painful and we are sorry for the sorry couple. 🙂  However its very likely that they are more in the know with the specifics of the case against them both and hope they can amicably settle their difference in their own sweet private time.
  • DQP (National Party) which has successfully sued government many times before and won cases against government possibly as a precursor to another court case has requested the police investigate tourism minister and the president for causing irrevocable harm to tourism industry saying that the rulings derived from the false-wedding-vow should be applied in this case. The gist of that ruling was that its a civil offense to cause any harm to the economy of the country either by deed or by action..

What is not funny in these political maneuvering is

  • The negative publicity this generated across the media despite the high value tourism we have. The administration clearly needs to dismiss their spin doctors who didn’t warn them about this media storm.
  • The judiciary is not yet famed for their impartiality and a slanted judgment will force the government to reinvent the wheel of tourism.

However it is our assessment that these suits and counter suits are just political equivalent of ruling MDP and opposition coalition pulling each others legs, because ultimately neither party will be able to take responsibility for destroying the tourism product.

Facts about order to close spas

  • It doesn’t hold water legally according to former attorney general and renowned lawyer Husnu Suood. A spa or any place of legal business can be ordered to stop their business if evidence was discovered which implicates criminal intent. However closing all such businesses for the crime of one establishment is beyond comprehension.
  • No resort has complied thankfully and hoteliers are aware about the political nature of the dictate The government’s line that this was a measure they are taking to address the demand of the big-demo on 23rd December 2011 is also not consistent as no similar dictate has been issued to remove the commemorative idols and statutes of the SAARC summit in Addu.
  • One of the five demands of the big demo protesters was to close places of prostitution in Male’ which goes by names such as ‘spas’ , ‘beauty saloons’ , ‘ayuverdha clinics’ etc. There was no mention of high end spas in resorts.
  • Tourism minister Zulfa’s assertion that spa’s will be reopened once the people support moderate Islam is also inconsistent with her mandate. This presupposition of people’s belief shall not be normal subject matter for a minister to decide. Peoples belief are their own and the fact is that the paranoia about Islamic extremism has been blown out of all proportions for political reasons.