The Maldives is a group of islands in the Indian Ocean. These atolls are surrounded by coral reef and the sea is a major part of life in the Maldives. The country is primarily a tourist destination and has a rich cultural heritage that draws influences from both the people who live there as well as long-term visitors.
The history of the Maldives is a long one, with people first arriving in the country around 500 BC. They brought many customs and traditions with them. These include a strong attachment to the sea and fishing, with women taking care of their homes while men go out at sea for tuna fishing.
Tourism has grown into a big industry in the Maldives, accounting for 28% of GDP and 90% of government tax income. This has led to improved work/home balance and employment opportunities for local islanders.
In addition, tourism has helped develop local industries such as coconut production and fishing. This has also contributed to a more sustainable lifestyle for local residents.
The economy of the Maldives is based on three sectors: fisheries, shipping and tourism. The fishing sector is one of the largest employers in the country and contributes to the GDP. The shipping industry is also important in the local economy as it exports a range of products including pearls, coir rope and coco de mer.
The economy has experienced several crises in the past, most notably in 2004 when a tsunami caused extensive damage to the Maldives and in 2015 when former president Mohamed Nasheed was jailed for 13 years on terrorism charges. In response to these challenges, the government adopted a number of measures, namely a national plan to cut carbon emissions and reduce fuel use. These measures have boosted economic growth, accelerated infrastructure development and enhanced social development.