Politics is not the first thing which comes to your mind when thinking of the charming islands in the Indian Ocean. You might remember that the Maldivian Parlament once held a meeting under water to make a statement against global warming.
So in case you missed it, yesterday Maumoon Abdul Gayoom received 51.39% of the votes and is only the second elected president in Maldivian history. The Republic of Maldives had failed to elect a president in three attempts since September, raising concerns in the international community that the young democracy may slip back to authoritarian rule. The European Union already threatened “appropriate measures” if the Maldives failed to elect a new president Saturday. Enough of politics.
A few weeks back I had the privilege to spend some days in one of the more than 100 resorts spread across tiny islands making up the country. Whether above or under water, this spot on earth must be very close to paradise. It’s surprising that a mission of the United Nations visited the Maldives in 1960, attesting that the islands were not suitable and did not recommend a focus on tourism. Maybe the members of the delegation always spent their vacations in icy and snowy mountains as they were proven wrong in no time. In 1972, the first resort opened (Kurumba Village) and tourism quickly became the largest economic sector on the more than 1,190 islands.