Islamists pressure government to shut all of the islands’ spas
There is still hope that a planned ban on spas in the Maldives may not go ahead due to worries that such a ban would have a severe impact on incoming tourism. Following protests by Islamist opposition parties, which say that spas are offensive and also fronts for brothels, the government had earlier announced that all of the country’s spas would be shut down. Negotiations on the ban are continuing.
Tour operators have expressed concern. “It would hit us quite hard as spas are one of the major attractions,” said one. “They are an important ingredient, but they are not the only ingredient. If you take it away it would lessen the attraction and give out totally the wrong message of the Maldives.”
[pictured: Conrad Maldives]