Zuvaan Masveriya

Can fisheries be promoted within cultural tourism?

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The government of Maldives has been formulating plans to incorporate cultural tourism within the country as part of the effort to further diversify and expand the country’s tourism sector. This is an endeavor that would bring much-needed variation in the tourism sector, while being highly beneficial for the country’s economy as well.

The fisheries sector, deemed the main arteries of the country’s economy, could easily be incorporated into the cultural tourism component. We have a rich history and many aspects of the fisheries sector, which could pick the interest of certain tourist markets. Incorporating fisheries into the cultural tourism component can pave the way to tap into this specific target market. Our fisheries sector has much to show to the world as it is renowned for its one by one fishing technique. We have the potential to give tourists the opportunity to enjoy a trip on board a vessel, observe and partake in this method of fisheries to experience our sustainable pole and line sustainable fisheries practices. It is evident this would be a successful venture due to the huge support we have received from foreigners for videos and photos of this type of fisheries on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Women day 2019 celebration by Maldives fishermen NGO, with an Australian couple. The team went for skipjack tuna fishing and made value-added products from their catch.

Including fisheries in the cultural tourism component would be a way to further boost local tourism within the islands as well. Since its introduction, local tourism has been highly beneficial to local communities. And while this is the case, the fishery is an integral part of our local community. Thus, integrating fisheries into cultural tourism is the right way to go. This would not just mean allowing tourists to go on trips with fishermen on board vessels. It could include giving tourists the opportunity to live with fishermen families as well. In some foreign countries, farmer families provide this sort of tourism opportunities, allowing tourists to experience the life of farmers. So including the option for tourists to experience life and fisheries techniques of Maldives could assist in providing fishermen families with added livelihoods and benefits. Meanwhile, it will also help the market and promote fisheries products and the fisheries sector in other markets. Tourists would talk and post about their experiences in social media. This is a great way to let the world know more about our fisheries sector.

We have observed the interest of tourists towards night fishing trips offered by resorts at present. Most tourist packages sold by resorts include this as an excursion option. So including the opportunity to experience the local fisheries sector by allowing tourists to join the fishermen onboard vessels as well as the opportunity to live with fishermen families is a great idea. It would be a compelling thing for tourists interested in fishing and fishing-related endeavors.

This is one segment that could greatly benefit all parties involved in the fisheries sector. It is interesting to ponder on when introducing cultural tourism. It would assist in not only promoting the fisheries sector, but diversifying tourism sector as well.




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