Published on : Monday, November 15, 2021
While receiving 1,000,000th tourist every year – and the 100,000th in October in the middle of the retreating pandemic situation, international rating agency, Fitch Ratings, an American credit rating agency, has upgraded Maldives’ long-term currency defaulter ranking to ‘B-’ from ‘CCC’. There is additional good news. The annual tourist season is just commencing and will go on till April. This signifies that the tourism-centric economy of the country may take the road to slow but recovery steadily.
Fitch attributed the upgrade to the speedier economic recovery than forecast.
Sharply, tourist arrivals have returned to almost 70 percent of the levels of pre-pandemic times with the number of bed nights bouncing back even faster as tourists, on an average, have started stay around three days longer than before.
However, the agency has exercised cautioned against an anticipated outbreak of a third wave of COVID-19 along with stiff-neck competition from other global tourist destinations, which are also on a recovery mode.
The Finance Minister, Ibrahim Ameer, in a tweet, has welcomed the Fitch rating. He has also claimed that the Government had succeeded to take care of short-term liquidity risk through a pro-market approach. He also mentioned that debt-to-GDP ratio is hoped to get better as economy grows. He has also said that the Government is aimed on financial diversification by investing in infrastructure projects that contribute to higher economic growth, even while increasing bed capacity and the like in the tourism sector.