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Maldives Government lifts nationwide ban on spas

  • 11-Jan-12 14:08
  • Maldives
  • Breaking Travel News

The Maldives government has lifted a nationwide ban on spas that was enforced when protesters said they were being used as brothels by tourists during Maldives holidays. The President has lifted the ban while they wait for the Supreme Court's verdict.

Maldives Government lifts nationwide ban on spas

A ban that was enforced on spas and massage parlours in the Maldives has been lifted by the Maldives government. Islamic protesters took to the streets of Male in December saying that the spas were being used as brothels by tourists taking Maldives holidays but the Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed has established that this is not the case.

"There was a huge demonstration in Male against spas, saying they were brothels," President Nasheed explained. "We had to respect the crowd so we ordered a quality control regarding their use. We found that they are perfectly healthy and places where families can obtain top class treatment. We feel comfortable that we can now open the spas."

Private tourism business in the Maldives sought the intervention of the Supreme Court to lift the ban, saying it was unnecessary and it would deprive them of business from international tourists. The ban has been lifted as they wait for a decision from the court. The president explained that the majority of Maldivians reject religious extremism and he urges the country to continue with the moderate form of Islam that the nation has followed for the past 800 years.

Maldives, The One & Only Resort Reethi Rah
Image by: Sarah_Ackerman, on Flickr

The President added: "The extremist demonstration on December 23rd attracted a sizeable crowd. But their radical demands awoke the silent majority who categorically reject extremism."

The Maldives heavily relies on tourism and is renowned for being a luxury destination for celebrities, honeymooners and high end travellers. Last year, over 850,000 tourists took holidays to the Maldives and enjoyed the archipelago's white sand palm-fringed beaches, turquoise blue lagoons, and crystal clear ocean waters that are teeming with vibrant corals, reefs, and multi-coloured fish.

The Indian Ocean nation boasts secluded islands that offer a collection of luxury Maldives hotels with upscale accommodation and facilities such as spas and gourmet restaurants. During holidays in the Maldives, guests can take part in a range of activities including snorkelling, scuba diving, boat excursions, hiking through tropical forests and relaxing on unspoiled pristine beaches.

If the ban were to be permanently enforced, many resorts and hotels in the Maldives would lose business because they cater towards tourists who are seeking luxury spa breaks.

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