The fourth round of discussions between the Chinese Embassy in the Maldives and local authorities regarding ensuring the safety of Chinese nationals, including tourists, in the Maldives was held on Thursday.
The discussion was attended by Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Lixin, State Minister for Foreign Affairs Ahmed Khaleel and State Minister for Tourism Ibrahim Rasheed.
Officials from local authorities including Maldives Customs, Maldives Police Service and Maldives Immigration attended the discussion. Representatives from Chinese companies and tour agencies were also in attendance.
The discussions held in three segments saw dialogue regarding difficulties faced by Chinese nationals in acquiring services in the Maldives in addition to challenges faced by local bodies in providing services to Chinese nationals.
The most pertinent issue noted in this regard is the language barrier. On this note, it was detailed that there are communication difficulties as many tourism workers directly interacting with Chinese tourists do not speak Chinese while some Chinese tourists do not speak English.
Different local bodies shared difficulties they face as well.
State Minister Khaleel, speaking during the discussion, said both countries can collaborate on mutual fronts to achieve important goals. He also emphasized on the importance of addressing issues presently faced as Chinese tourists have resumed travel to the Maldives.
Speaking to Sun regarding the discussions – Ambassador Wang said that the most important matter was implementing solutions to address the issues presently faced. She noted that meaningful dialogue was exchanged between the two countries on further enhancing tourism and ensuring the safety of tourists.
“Many authorities want to conduct training courses on Chinese language. As I also believe, this is important to pave way for better services for Chinese tourists. Chinese Embassy would provide full cooperation in conducting Chinese language classes. I hope the relevant local government bodies also cooperate on this front,” he detailed.