The Maldives is truly a tropical paradise, and this quiet island nation has long been a favorite of tourists. The beautiful beaches, delicious fresh fish and spectacular views over the Indian Ocean typically draw thousands of visitors each year. However, there are now signs that the tourism industry in the Maldives may be in major jeopardy due to the recent travel warnings issued by the US, UK, India and China following recent political turmoil. With this in mind, it’s important to take a closer look at what these new travel warnings mean for anyone planning to visit the Maldives in the near future and how trip insurance can help protect you in case anything should happen.
Maldives Travel Warnings
Although the Maldives is generally considered a fairly safe country for tourists, recent political events are now potentially threatening to throw the country into chaos. The current problems began when a group of judges in the Maldives ordered President Abdulla Yameen to release the country’s opposition leaders from jail. In response, Yameen declared a state of emergency and ordered the immediate arrest of the judges responsible for the original order.
As a result of the state of emergency, the country has since seen anti-government protests in the capital of Malé. As well, smaller-scale protests have also been reported in Maafushi, which is where most of the political prisoners are currently being held. These continuing protests combined with the increasing number of radicalized youth in the country, including potentially countless fighters who have returned from fighting for ISIS in Syria, has led various foreign governments to warn citizens about the increased risk of terrorism and civil unrest in the Maldives.
Specifically, the U.S. Department of State has issued (on February 6, 2018) a Level 2 Travel Advisory for the Maldives, which means travelers should exercise extreme caution due to potential terrorism and civil unrest. The warning notes that there is an increased risk of terrorist attacks, and the possibility that terrorists could target transportation infrastructure, tourist locations, shopping malls or government offices.
The fact that the current state of emergency is only scheduled to last for a couple of weeks means that there is a good chance things will return to normal soon. Nonetheless, if you are considering a trip to the Maldives at any time in the near future, it is essential that you protect yourself with travel insurance. Purchasing a travel insurance plan will give you the peace of mind that you’ll be fully covered in case of any medical emergency. Not only that, but you can also find trip insurance protection that may allow you to get a full refund if you’re forced to cancel your trip due to a terrorist attack at your destination city or other covered reasons under the policy. It is important to note that travel insurance generally won’t allow you to cancel and be refunded your trip costs for worries about political unrest – there would need to be a terrorist attack at your destination city within usually (varies by policy) thirty days of your arrival date.
With any luck, the political problems in the Maldives will blow over fairly quickly, and your trip won’t be affected. However, it’s currently impossible to tell how the situation will develop, which makes it essential that you protect yourself with trip insurance.