Not only was the recent Island Innovation ‘Islands and the COVID-19 Pandemic’ webinar broadcast live on Zoom and Facebook, but it also grabbed the attention of media outlets in the Maldives! The specific interest from Maldivian media no doubt arose from the fact that the Managing Director of the Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC), Mohamed Raaidh, was one of the speakers and he gave a very in-depth presentation on the current situation there, and what will ideally happen in the coming months that will allow the Maldivian tourism sector to be able to successfully reopen, especially in time for peak season starting in November.

The webinar was written about by Corporate Maldives, the leading business and hospitality magazine of the Maldives, as well as Travel Trade Maldives (TTM), the leading travel trade business resource in the Maldives, both with specific details about Mr Raaidh’s presentation. In addition to this, the webinar was broadcast on television by the most popular Maldivian broadcaster RaajjeTV and featured in an article by RaajjeMV on their website, as well on the widely read local website OneOnline. Clearly the topic that Mr Raaidh was discussing is of utmost importance in the Maldives, as it has a direct impact on the entire Maldivian population and economy.

Islands and the COVID-19 PandemicThe economy of the Maldives relies almost entirely on tourism, especially luxury tourism, so it is of utmost importance to the social and economic recovery of this island nation that tourists from around the world are able to travel there again safely without fear of catching COVID-19. As Mr Raaidh mentioned in his presentation, if procedures are not put in place to allow the Maldives to open up again to visitors this summer, so that everything is ready again by the start of peak season in November, this would have disastrous consequences for the Maldivian economy. He is confident though that the government of the Maldives will act decisively to avert this possibility and open up the islands again, as soon as they are safe. 

Not only was the quality of discussion at the webinar excellent, but the attendance was fantastic with over 1000 registrations, almost 500 people joining live on Zoom and over 5.7 thousand views on Facebook (and counting)! Just like our panel of speakers, our audience was very diverse including 33% of attendees from Europe, 29% from the Caribbean and 21% in North America, with many other areas of the world also watching.

Island Innovation recently launched an Island Responses webinar series, to discuss the specific short and long term implications of the global COVID-19 pandemic for islands around the world and what steps they could take to lessen the social, economic and environmental damage they are facing. The first webinar in this series ‘Islands and the COVID-19 Pandemic’, was a big success, with six expert speakers from Scotland, the Maldives, Greenland, Anguilla and Lanzarote (Canary Islands) presenting the situation of their location and ideas for going forward successfully, as well as answering questions picked from the audience.

There are two more webinars in the Island Responses webinar series which you can register for with the following links:

You can also view the excellent report that Mohamed created for the webinar by using this link.

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