Hotel spas and wellness centres across the Maldives are operating as usual despite government orders to shut all facilities offering health and beauty treatments.
The crackdown followed protests by an opposition political party that claimed they were a front for prostitution. That order has since been suspended by civil courts following cases filed by members of the tourism industry.
Agents and operators have been taking calls from concerned holidaymakers. James Weaver, managing director of luxury tour operator Lusso, said: “To suggest they are glorified brothels is absurd.The tourism authority is strongly appealing against the ban.
“We have been contacting key hotelier partners in the Maldives and are receiving assurances that facilities are fully operational.”
Kuoni’s managing director Derek Jones also confirmed that all Maldivian resorts sold by the operator were continuing to operate as normal.
Banyan Tree said its four resorts were fully open and Shamira Kaumaya, Sunset Faraway Holidays commercial director, said she had received confirmation from Four Seasons, Six Senses, Shangri-La and Anantara that their spas remain open.
She added: “We are getting calls from concerned clients and are telling them not to worry. I don’t expect the order to stand.”
Kaumaya expects more governmental regulation procedures to be put in place but believes holidaymakers will remain entirely unaffected.
Abta has also informed its members that the islands’ spas are still open.
A spokeswoman from the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation said: “The Maldives is a young democracy. This is a technical, local and a political issue that will be resolved very soon. In the meantime there are no reports of holidaymakers on the resorts being affected.”
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