The Maldives as a destination is, arguably, the greatest revolution in luxury travel in the last several decades. It is the world standard for tropical paradises and exclusivity, where unsurpassed beauty has continued to attract travellers from all over the world.
Today tourism figures, awards and statistical forecasts show the destination as a powerful force with a lucrative future. As one example among many, in 2008 the World Travel Awards recognized the Maldives as the world's leading island destination. And every year its resorts populate prestigious rankings like the Cond? Nast Traveller Hotlists.
In terms of annual tourist arrivals to the Maldives, the figures have increased steadily from a mere 1,097 in 1972, after the opening of the first resort, to over a million guest arrivals in 2013.
Compared to longstanding tourist destinations around the world such as the Riviera and the Caribbean, the Maldives is home to a new generation of luxury resorts under the 'One Island, One Resort' concept, with over-water villas, spas and innovative restaurants, which attract the attention of global trendsetters and upscale travellers. The stunning oceanic environment of the islands has inspired a new class of resort luxury and design, allowing hospitality brands to create a distinctive guest experience few destinations can match. Thus, the Maldives is a 'must-have' destination for top-tier hospitality brands.
The "One Island, One Resort" concept has further benefited the Maldives by insulating each resort from the outside world; whether it be the SARS virus or bird flue, or whether it is local politics or international issues, each resort and its guests continue to spend their time on their island totally isolated from any outside interference. So much so that during both the SARS and the bird flue epidemics, Maldives saw some its highest guest arrivals at that time.