Apparently, there is a ruling notion among tourists that Maldives must be a very expensive tourist destination. Prices quoted by resorts could only be matched by the wallet strength of the affluent class. But the truth is otherwise. If you opt for guesthouses in exotic Maldivian islands instead of well established and much hyped luxury resorts, you can do the trip at a fraction of the prices and at the same time draw full gratification.
Guesthouses – Why it is a better choice?
Stay at guesthouses in the remote islands exposes you to the authentic Maldivian culture which may not be refined by city gimmicks and pseudo sophistication. But what you get is pure, unadulterated, homely and organic lifestyle. The hotels built in the rural segments received legal approval back in 2009. However, shortly within a timeframe of five years, over 200 hotels have mushroomed across the pristine Maldivian villages.
The guesthouses in local islands have scaled heights of huge popularity with around 80 % room occupancy rate throughout the year. The guesthouses have worked hard and done well over a brief span of time offering private beaches to the tourists and even featuring swimming pools to draw the attention of a growing tourist size.
Entrapping the potential of tourism
Tourism is the primary economic backbone of the Maldives. The natural attractions range from the blue roaring ocean and the unspoiled white sand beaches. The climate is sunny and bright. There are ample opportunities for snorkeling, water skiing, fishing, swimming, scuba diving, kite boarding and windsurfing. There is fun galore but it need not be too pricey. Staying at guesthouses can well bring these bursts of euphoric activities at your doorstep. The prices are way too cheaper than what a luxury resort would charge.
Relaxation of Tourism Regulations
Recently, the Maldivian government has softened the tourism regulations which once made it mandatory for tourists to confine their vacationing in resorts only in uninhabited islands. Removal of this mandate has opened up a new future for the guesthouses. With the doors of business opportunity open, the guesthouses are on the road to a flourishing trade. They have upgraded their status as well, but the good thing is that the prices did not mount so much subsequently.
Maldivian guesthouses are located in islands inhabited by the locals. Here you get to interact with the local folks more exploring the authentic Maldivian culture. Some guesthouses are all inclusive while others are more like bed and breakfast inns. The level of luxury and guest facilities is certainly not to be compared with those of resorts. But the guests have access to water sports and trips to uninhabited islands at a reasonably low cost.
The range and quality of guesthouses are wide. However, guesthouses do not own an island while a resort does. So the guests staying at guesthouses need to respect the local customs and culture as they come in frequent contact with the locals. While resort dwellers are marooned in private islands cut off from local crowd, men and women staying at guesthouses should be mindful about their dress code. They must be modestly dressed so that the local sentiment is not hurt. Maldives is an Islamic country.
Providing job opportunities for locals:
As the relaxation of legalization opened up a plethora of promises for guesthouses to do a roaring business, it has also provided job opportunities for the locals. Tourist resorts catered to the needs of a specific affluent class. The total volume of tourist visits was confined to rich people only. Poor locals hardly benefitted from the overseas crowd who spent luxury vacation in resorts making the resort profit margin high.
Guesthouses created new jobs for the locals. Today, they allow more people to profit sharing scopes from tourism. The ideal example is the growth of guesthouses in Huraa located close to Kaafu Atoll. Guesthouses enable tourists to use public transport systems meant for the locals. They are just a mere fraction of a cost involved in travelling by sea planes and speedboats to reach the international airport, which is the only means of travel for guests staying at expensive resorts.
Communicating with local people and exploring Maldivian culture and tradition by staying in guesthouses is a welcome break from the businesslike formal ambience of resorts. The tourist benefits especially the cost element has made the guesthouses a popular choice and they will continue to be popular for years to come.