The Maldives has announced a plan to provide vaccinations to international tourists, according to CNN. Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, said that as part of the country’s “3V” plan, tourists will be able to “Visit, Vaccinate, and Vacation” in the South Asian archipelago.

The plan is an attempt to attract visitors and boost tourism to the Maldives. Since the vaccine offered will require two doses, tourists participating in the program will have to remain in the country for several weeks while they await their time to receive the second dosage.

For now, however, those interested in taking advantage of the offer will have to wait. The program is still in the works and will not begin being implemented until every one of the country’s roughly 550,000 citizens has been vaccinated. According to Mausoom, about 53% of the population has received their first vaccine shot.

“The main idea of tourism being open is to provide a reasonably safe tourism with minimum inconvenience. So once the country gets vaccinated, then we will move on to ‘3V’ tourism,” he said.

The Maldives is a nation with a largely tourism-dependent economy. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country welcomed 1.7 million tourists per year on average. In 2020, however, there were only 555,494 visitors. The Maldives closed in March amidst the pandemic, but fully reopened in July, promoting the idea that their numerous small and secluded islands make it a safe destination where social distancing is easy.

Mausoom confirmed that with the Maldives having received vaccines from India, China, and the World Health Organization, and with more soon arriving from Singapore, the country will be well prepared to meet demand.

About the Maldives

Comprised of 1192 islands, many unoccupied, the Maldives is a popular retreat for those seeking the luxury of the nation’s many private islands with overwater bungalows. What many don’t know is that you can experience the Maldives on a budget by staying on a local island like Maafushi. Nightly rates are a fraction of those on private islands, and visitors can purchase a day pass to visit the overwater bungalow resorts.

Related: The Maldives: A Guide To Help You Plan For Your Post-Pandemic Trip