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Growth in b&bs.

London, United...
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Growth in b&bs.

I clicked on this tab by accident, and started reading out of curiosity. There is 71 or so b&b type accommodations out there, and some of them look decent - simple yes, but decent. Some not so much, Some reviews comment on more being built and construction work. Many are in male etc, but still a big old number.

This appears to be an industry that's growing fast in the Maldives, and is bringing more and more tourists into contact with the locals.

Soon, the guest houses will out number the resorts, and many of them are not cheap at a hundred bucks a night. They will want to make more money and they will want to compete.

So can it sustain itself ,,with no booze? No bikinis? Will the laws change? More tourist numbers who then want to visit the resorts? Lots of tourists mixing with locals and starting to dominate a given island due to numbers? Associated businesses developing to feed off the tourism?

This has grown so fast over the last few years,,,how will it impact the locals? Because it is going to change the dynamics of their existence on islands where these exist and it's not going to stop any time soon,,,,

Divide, Colorado
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1. Re: Growth in b&bs.

i haven't yet visited a guesthouse but mainly because i am spoiled and i want my watervilla, etc . the no booze is actually a positive selling point to me .

a lot of die hard divers have been priced out of the maldives .. as long as the guesthouses offer good diving , even if its boat dives only .. i see no reason not to go in the future .. and remember that divers really cant drink if they plan to be on the first boat out .. so thats not a negative for a lot of people.

London, United...
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2. Re: Growth in b&bs.

Yep, you are right, there is a lot of divers, lot of short term visitors on the way to a resort, lot of people using It as a base to visit other islands. Lot of people just having a vacation there.

It's quite fascinating , because it really is a change over a short period of time ie a decade or less, and people do go out and about and experience local culture, eat in local restaurants etc.

Swanwick, United...
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3. Re: Growth in b&bs.

I wear bikinis and I am known to like more than the odd tipple, even at home! So when the idea of guest houses first popped up I knew it wasn't really an option for me. However I decided to call my husband's bluff one year and agree to staying in a guest house next time around. I had assumed he would be quite pleased with this, as he does not drink very much (his favourite drink is water!), with fair skin would be more than happy in long shorts and a rash vest and it would save him money. However he raised a point, one that I had not thought about before, the local islands in all probability do not fog and he is a bit of a mozzie magnet. I knew that the mosquito had a purpose!

Edited: 04 June 2013, 16:31
suffolk
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4. Re: Growth in b&bs.

It is quite interesting how this market is developing.

Several years ago there was a declaration by the Maldives government that more islands would be released to be aimed specifically at the 3/4* market as opposed to the 5/6*.....this just hasn't happened and with every island refurb usually meaning a step up in the ratings, it's leaving an even bigger gap in the middle.

From an island operators view however, I guess there is more money to be made from a 5/6* island with 100 rooms than there is from a 3/4* island with 200 rooms.

John

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5. Re: Growth in b&bs.

The last Maldivian government wanted to bring in more mid price resorts but there was a change in government since then. There are elections later this year and after that anything can happen. Some guest houses have very nice accommodation and I have heard of some "private beaches" on some local islands.

London, United...
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6. Re: Growth in b&bs.

It's strange because, as I understand it, when tourism first began in the Maldives the idea was that tourists should be kept well away from locals to stop Western habits having a harmful influence. So the country benefited from the tourism income without any detrimental effect on their day-to-day life. Has that idea gone completely out of the window?

London, United...
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7. Re: Growth in b&bs.

Yep, that's what I thought also,,,on the segregation, which is really going by the wayside now, lots of social interaction but some comments on locals not being too friendly ,,but not unfriendly, just not wishing to get involved.

I also got the same sort of impression as john reading the reviews,,,it's a them and us developing. The resorts, which are perceived as " 5 star luxury" and the b & b end of the market. Little middle ground now. You are either in one camp or the other.

At some point, there is going to be booze on those islands. Too many tourists now, the government is going to have to make some decisions at some point. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but over the next few years, maybe less.

It's just such a big change, so fast and so many westerners on these islands will have a cultural impact.

Somerset
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8. Re: Growth in b&bs.

I've visited local islands and Male a bit and found a mixed reaction. Possibily because often the tourists go round in gangs.

On my own or with a friend was more welcoming.

I would be happy with a guest house as I'm on a low budget but need a good reef and so far haven't seen anything in this line. Wouldn't want to be B& B then sat on a deserted island for a days snorkeling with no lunch !

Swindon, United...
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9. Re: Growth in b&bs.

I'd be very surprised if booze is allowed on locals' islands in the forseeable future. That would be a major step for a Maldivian government to take, and one which might stir up civil unrest given the conservative nature of the country.

London, United...
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10. Re: Growth in b&bs.

Yes, but I do think in the Maldives, money is king. Due to the potential revenue that could be generated from that inc taxes. I reckon there could, over the next few years as the local islands develop their b&b / hotel industry, and they will develop it, there is no doubt. that there comes a demand for booze and all associated tourism norms, plus a financial driver for the government to not just permit, but to encourage, they need and or want the money.

I actually genuinely believe this is a fast developing market, and in ten or twenty years time the hospitality industry in the maldives will look very, very different than it does today,,,,and subsequently on some key islands, the culture. Restaurants, bars, normal tourist trappings will all happen. Expats will move in to run those businesses, and open bank accounts and eventually, pay taxes.

It's simply a relatively new industry for them ie twenty years ago it was very different than it is today, it's an evolution. Supply and demand, cashing in, whatever you call it, the Maldives won't be the first muslim country to have this happen.

Who could have guessed twenty years ago that there would be over 70 b&b type establishments,,,and many on local inhabited islands, with an influx of tourists?

Edited: 05 June 2013, 02:31