Maldives government 'looking for private funding for advertising campaign to boost tourism industry'

 

The government of the Maldives is said to be looking for funding from the private sector for an advertising campaign to boost its tourism industry following turmoil earlier this year when its elected president was forced from office in what he later claimed was a coup.

A report in Minivan News said the government had already signed a £160,000 deal with the BBC to sponsor the weather service on the broadcaster’s web site and BBC World News between June 18 and August 27. It said the tourism ministry was now in discussion with the country’s major resorts to fund further advertising projects over the coming year.

“At present we are trying to build investor confidence in the country,” said deputy tourism minister Mohamed Maleeh Jamal. “There has been too much focus on stories such as how the Maldives will be sinking in 30 years.”

The violence and unrest earlier this year culminated in February with the then president, Mohamed Nasheed, announcing his resignation. He subsequently said he had been forced to do so at gunpoint and that if he had not stepped aside many people could have lost their lives. He was replaced by the then vice-president, Mohammed Waheed Hassan. Many observers believe the current president is being supported by the country’s former dictator, whom Mr Nasheed beat in an historic election in 2008.

While no tourists were caught up in the violence, officials have conceded that the incident damaged the country’s image. This spring, an international lobbying firm based in London, Ruder Finn, accepted a contract worth a reported £300,000 to try and improve the country’s profile. No-one from Ruder Finn was available for comment.

A BBC spokesperson said: “This is a routine commercial agreement for Maldives Tourism to sponsor the weather bulletin on the BBC's international commercial TV channel and website. The sponsorship is fully consistent with the BBC’s strict guidelines for our commercial services. It is clear to audiences that the sponsorship of the weather bulletin in no way impacts the impartiality of our editorial output.”

The government has also reverted to “Sunny side of life’ tourism slogan. Under Mr Nasheed the tourism industry had switched to ‘Always Natural’.

Earlier this month, various factions in the Maldives agreed on the establishment of a commission to look into the events of February. In an interview with the BBC, President Waheed said: “If they find out that I have had a role in bringing about a coup, then I will definitely resign. But if I have no role - if somebody else has done it - it doesn’t mean I have to resign, according to the law of the Maldives.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 Teacher Required in Grays

£21000 - £40000 per annum + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: Key Stage 2 tea...

Recruitment Genius: Software Development Manager

£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Tradewind Recruitment: Humanities Teacher

£120 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: The Humanities Department of this ...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee