MATATO Responds to Minister of Tourism's Accusations

13 Nov 2023 | 09:19
press conference held by MATATO-- Photo: Sun Online

MATATO Responded to Minister of Tourism's Accusations Regarding Tourism Statistics and Offers to Educate the Minister.

The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) expressed deep concern over the recent statements made by Minister of Tourism, Dr Abdulla Mausoom, regarding the association's November edition monthly newsletter. MATATO, categorically denies the accusations of misinformation and seeks to clarify the integrity of its data and offers to educate the Minister on said matter.

In response to the Minister's claims, MATATO emphasizes its longstanding positive relationship with relevant authorities and stakeholders, maintaining open channels for dialogue with Ministers. The association asserts its willingness to provide clarification and educate the Ministry on its data publication methods.

The association draws attention to occupancy trends, highlighting that only 51% of available beds in the Maldives were occupied in the current year. This information is based on the total operational capacity of 62,822 beds as of November 1, 2023, sourced from the Ministry of Tourism's "Weekly Updates on Maldives Tourism" of 2nd November 2023. MATATO also notes a reduction in tourists' average length of stay, attributing this to an increase in Chinese tourist arrivals, known for shorter stays. All figures are diligently derived from Ministry Weekly Updates, and comparisons are confined to 2022 and 2023.

Apart from this,  MATATO also points to a significant decline in tourist revenue over the first eight months of 2023, supported by MMA data indicating a $160 million (MVR 2.5 billion) decrease compared to the previous year, constituting a five percent downturn.

MATATO believes Minister of Tourism may be out of touch with industry dynamics or lacks awareness of the challenges at hand.

MATATO's Dashboard, which aggregates data, relies on figures from reputable international and local entities, including UNWTO, PATA, Ministry of Tourism, MIRA, and MMA. The association underscores its commitment to transparency and accuracy, refuting any suggestion of data manipulation or misleading practices