Since very early days tourists have visited the Maldives. Trading alone with countries such as Arabia, Persia, Malaysia, Indonesia and China made the people and the culture what they are today. The famous traveler, Ibn Batuta visited the islands already in 1343 and remained for a few years as a judge. The Frenchman François Pyrad de Laval and the Englishman H.C.P.Bell must be mentioned too.Tourists on a island trip and fishmarket in Male:
These days guests from all over the world visit “the islands of paradise”. Each of these tiny islands with their extraordinary beautiful blue sea, wonderful white sandy beaches and pleasant climate, offers an oasis of peace and relaxation from everyday life. That is how the Maldives became known as the place for “The art of doing nothing”.
Although the Maldives have developed rapidly these last years, it is still a relatively new tourist destination. The first Hotel-Resort (Kurumba Village) was opened in 1972 on an uninhabited island near the capital of Male. At that time this island had only 60 guest beds. The second resort was Bandos with 280 beds. Then the service was quite simple, food was local and the journey took up a great amount of time.
The only airline traveling to the Maldives at that time was Air Ceylon, the plane was small with only 48 seats and the flight took 2 hours from Colombo to Male.
In spite of these difficulties 1000 tourists visited the Maldives in 1972 to discover the original unspoiled beauty of these islands and Resorts.
Due to these first “pioneers”, tourism fully developed to its present level, although it was thought impossible at the time.