7 Mark question – A “For-Everything” Case Study
Name of location: The Maldives
The Maldives lies Southwest of Sri Lanka and India, about 700 kilometers from the mainland. It is a small island nation in South Asia in the Arabian sea of the Indian ocean. It’s made up of a chain of 26 atolls spanning around 298 square kilometers. It has a population of 540,544 and 142,909 for its capital city, Malè, in 2017.
Tourism is one of the most important industry in the Maldives, accounting for 30% of the Maldives total GDP and 90% of its tax revenues. Every year, 1.5 million tourists go to Maldives and Maldives earns a total amount of $2 millions USD from tourism. Most tourists go to Maldives for the water sports there such as snorkelling, scuba diving, sailing and kayaking. At the same time, Maldives also offers a biodiverse environment for visitors to explore.
There are many human attractions and physical attractions in Maldives. Human attractions include:
- Dive clubs
- Commercial Districts providing entertainment/shopping
- Fish Market (In Malè)
- National Museum (In Malè), displays antiques from Maldives Buddhist era
Physical attractions in Maldives are mainly its beaches and wildlife. On its beaches, there are:
- Peaceful with sounds of the sea waves
- Palm trees
- Species of fish at the shore (also applies to wildlife)
- White sand
- Good weather/tropical
And the wild life (natural environment) exploration activities there are mainly explored with snorkelling or scuba diving activities:
- Coral reefs
- Whale sharks/manta rays
Tourism has both positive and negative impacts on Maldives. First of all, tourism brings many benefits. Firstly, it generates employment for the tertiary sector in the country – it brings in about $600 million a year and it also accounts for 90% of the government’s revenue. Secondly, through working in the tourism industry, local people can learn new skills and languages. Fourthly, when tourists spend money in local businesses, the multiplier effect takes place. In this way tourism generates 60% of all foreign currency earned. At the same time, infrastructures in Maldives are developed. The natural environment might be better preserved as they are attractions to the tourists.
However, at the same time, tourism also has lots of disadvantages. For instance, tourism activities are harming the natural environment — snorkelling and scuba diving are damaging the corals and the marine ecosystems. Also, the jobs of the local people are badly paid and some of them do not work in good working conditions. Most resort staffs in the Maldives are only paid $1500 SGD annually. Lastly, the narrowness of Maldives’ economy makes it highly vulnerable to external shocks beyond its control such as natural disasters, political strikes and steep rise in oil and gas prices or other commodities.
Tourism in the Maldives is managed in a few ways. Firstly, initiatives have been formed to reduce tourist numbers in groups, committing to long term plans that benefit locals by using local accommodation and so on. Also, the government states that for each island developed into a resort, one must be left as a reserve. Furthermore, recycling efforts are made within hotels such as the Furaveri Island Resort & Spa (Raa atoll) which has a water bottle plant on site, active for two years which recycles glass bottles for guests to use on excursions. There are strict fishing regulations enforcements to maintain fish stocks and preserve the reefs. At the same time, as the government is taking more initiative to support the sustainable tourism movement, tourists themselves are starting to become invested in sustainable tourism.