Surrounded by shades of blue, the sandy islands of Maldives is a top holiday destination in the world today, with guests visiting the Maldives not just for the natural beauty, but also for the top-notch services provided by highly qualified individuals at tourist accommodations.
It was 1972 when a group of Italians visited the beautiful islands of Maldives on a holiday, and became the first (official) tourists recorded in the history of Maldives. That event marked the beginning of the tourism industry of Maldives, while at the same time “Maldivians became a very hospitable people after-all”, to the rest of the world. Besides the very fact that Maldivians are generally very friendly people, history speaks strongly in favor of the “kind hearted people of the Maldive Islands” long before tourists started to write about the trait.
Writings about the livelihood of our forefathers are limited in number, but most of those saved in our archives sound alike of the trait, in focused literatures. It is known that the first detailed accounts of Maldives come from a 14th century Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta who viewed our beautiful islands as one of the wonders of the world, and praised the Maldivian people at his departure from Maldives in 1345, after two years of stay.
In his scripts about his trip to Maldives, he writes that Maldivians rush to the shore to welcome ships, and the men offer “kurumba” (coconut water) and betel leaves to the arriving personnel, while the givers share the food and comforts of their homes, during the entire period of stay. This particular activity observed by Ibn Battuta as a long ongoing tradition back in the day makes it clear how fondly Maldivians greeted visitors, and organized homes of stay. Ibn Batuta’s two-year long stay in Maldives indisputably speaks for itself.
Another such traveler was François Pyrard de Laval, a French navigator, who took comprehensive notes of Maldivian lifestyle from 1602 to 1607. Published later, the stories of that time had amazed readers, with the unparalleled insights into this tropical paradise and the people of the archipelago.Historians agree that Maldivians generally possessed the good mannerism in dealing with locals and foreigners alike, however showed inspirational level of respect to their fellow community members, according to research based literatures on the history of Maldives. Writings tell us that, the level of respect enrooted within the society would not let a member of the community walk past a seated person, and the member would rather choose a path behind the seat to walk away, while highly respected people were accompanied throughout their way to their residences, after meetings or events.
Many such features are present in the modern day tourism sector of the Maldives, and reviews suggest that the quality of such approaches reach the mark, most probably because it comes so naturally to the Maldivians, whether it is to smile, to communicate and to assist in any way required. While visitor expectations really summarize to “no fake smiles” can be generally interpreted as “genuine service”, that is definitely the mark Maldives always aim at. Forefathers that passed on good manners to new generations, practiced good manners at home and within the community so strongly that our veins hold extremely “warm blood” allowing the tourists to feel the warm welcomes, warm celebrations and heartwarming service. Tales, novels and travelogues confirm that Maldivians have always been an exemplary people that go miles to help each-other and the staying visitors, while always being on alert and “at service” regardless of whether help is sought or not; it is known that neighbors rush and go over next door (just simply) to the sound of scraping the bottom of a rice pot (sound of eating the last bits of rice), and would quickly offer some rice.
Persistence of this excellent trait definitely sow the right seeds to breed a splendid service industry in this one a kind wonder.