The Maldives have surged in popularity recently as a preferred island getaway, but with growing tourism comes a growing number of tourist accidents. Five tourists have drowned in January alone due to the strong undertow current, which drags unsuspecting vacationers under at alarming speed. The north-eastern monsoon is causing tidal currents to be more powerful than usual, and the Maldives has issued an official safety warning to all resort officials.
While the Maldives is generally quite safe, the seas surrounding them have been known to have dangerous currents. And unlike most resort islands, where guests enter the water as part of a tour or guided excursion, in the Maldives guests are largely on their own.
Resorts across the 26 atolls are now advising guests to be extremely careful when swimming, snorkeling, engaging in water sports, and even wading out into the water, as all the deaths have been connected to these activities. To further ensure guest safety, tourism officials will be conducting reviews of the resorts to make sure they meet operating standards. Officials are also considering sectioning off specific areas across the islands for safe swimming to prevent guests from wandering into turbulent waters.
The Maldives is expected to do everything in its power to assuage guests’ fears as tourism is a huge part of its revenue stream. Around 1.4 million visitors per year flock to the Maldives, and despite the recent deaths, that number isn’t likely to drop.