Maldives stands up against resorts charging cancellation fees
Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) is a nonprofit organization that has been working in the last 14 years for the sustainable development of local travel agents in the Maldives
Currently, Maldives has only 17 cases of COVID-19 and no deaths yet.
Given the global crisis by the pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and public health emergency of international concern declared by World Health Organisation (WHO), the organization has been working closely with all the government ministries and authorities in the last several weeks, evaluating the impact of the situation and preparing for post-pandemic recovery.
The organization is concerned and reached out to all members to streamline cancellation policies.
The association urges all resorts, guesthouses, liveaboards, and hotels to allow flexibility in their cancellation policies, allowing data changes for current bookings.
The association has been also in dialogue with the Ministry of Tourism on these concerns and will seek to provide legal assistance to its members that face challenges in regard to unethical cancellations and date changes, imposed by few resorts. This isn’t a time to discriminate on and bias between local agents and foreign tour operators which we, unfortunately, have seen in the past, a discouraging practice by some resorts.
The organization also noticed many resorts, guesthouses, liveaboards, and hotels were extremely supportive of local businesses and travel agents.
The shock to the global economy from Covid-19 has been faster and more severe than the 2008 global financial crisis and even the Great Depression, thus it is vital for all the stakeholders to work together in coming out of this stronger as a country and a tourism destination.