Contactless check-ins, empty minibars, and digital menus are among the safety and hygiene measures to be rolled out at resorts across the Maldives, when the island nation reopens to travellers on July 15.
According to government data, 42 resorts will reopen by end-July, another 24 in August, 32 in September, 46 in October, and the rest after that.
Industry officials said they expect only a trickle of visitors during the initial reopening days, as most source markets in Europe have yet to resume outbound travel; while China and India, the Maldives’ top two source markets, are still battling the virus crisis.
Abdulla Ghiyas, former president of the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators, expected leisure tourists to only start coming in from August or September.
“The July opening will help authorities to test the effectiveness of the health and safety protocols. There are many expatriate workers who will also make use of the July 15 opening and availability of flights to return to their home countries,” he said. SriLankan Airlines, Emirates and Qatar are among the airlines that would resume operations this week.
From July 15, guests at Taj Exotica Resort & Spa, Maldives can expect contactless check-in, as well as F&B ordering using QR codes and e-payment solutions, according to its general manager, Samrat Datta.
Room allocations will be made only after they have been unoccupied for 48 hours, to allow for cleaning, disinfecting and sanitisation, he told TTG Asia. All resort associates will don personal protective equipment, while seating arrangements in restaurants and other common areas have been reconfigured to meet social distancing guidelines.
Similarly, when LUX* South Ari Atoll Resort & Villas reopens on August 1, all rooms will be left vacant for at least 24 hours between guests, to allow for deep cleaning and disinfection.
Hussain Afeef, the company’s regional director of training, development and quality assurance, said that minibars will remain empty, with a wide selection of items available upon request.
Wet wipes and sanitiser bottles will be placed in each guestroom, alongside pedal bins to allow for safe disposal of face masks and other protective equipment. Additionally, a medical team, including a doctor and a trained Covid-19 officer, will be on call 24/7 at the resort.
As of July 11, the Maldivian health authorities reported 2,664 Covid-19 cases, with 2,268 recoveries and 13 deaths.