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Maldives tourism records remarkable growth in 2016

The Maldives tourism industry has seen a remarkable growth in 2016, contributing to strengthening the island's economy, a press statement by the Maldives Embassy in Colombo said on Wednesday.

"The growth has been achieved with the dynamic economic policies introduced by President Abdullah Yameen to transform the economy of Maldives," the statement said.

Maldives, this year, unveiled seven new resorts, including Huravalhi Island Resort, featuring the world's largest underwater restaurant.

The government said that 20 new resorts would be unveiled in 2017.

"With the opening of the new resorts and influx of tourism investments, the tourism industry has become a catalyst for the governments key pledge of youth employment," the embassy statement said.

The statement added that in addition to the new resorts, in April, the government also launched the expansion of the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA), with a 3,400 meter long and 65 meter wide new runway to cater to the expanding tourism industry.

According to the government, the new runway can accommodate large commercial airplanes including the A380 Airbus.

Upon completion of the expansion, 7.5 million passengers would be catered annually, creating thousands of job opportunities for the youth of the country.