The Maldives, with this bone-white sandy beach and crystal clear turquoise waters has always been perceived as a destination that is only accessible for the super rich. Millionaires and billionaires visiting the Maldives are a common occurrence. Stories of celebrities, kings and princes visiting with their spouses and families are fairly common. They pay tens of thousands of dollars for the experience if not hundreds. Whenever the average person thinks of Maldives the perception is that ‘oh it’s so expensive – I can never go there. However this perception is slowly changing due to two factors.
The first factor which tells us that Maldives is ripe for the economy market is the availability of economy seats on airlines. Anyone who works at airlines would know that the front of the planes are more full than the back of the planes because of so many wealthy travelers. This surely means that there is a huge number of seats available just waiting for the budget travelers to fill them up.
The second and more important factor which is changing the status quo is the guesthouse market that is coming up in the Maldives. Unlike the one island one resort concept these guesthouses and hotels are located on the islands which inhabited by locals. This allows for guesthouse operators to bring down the cost of business and thus offer more affordable packages to budget travelers. However, as stipulated by Maldivian law, alcohol is not allowed on the local islands. Travelers seeking liquor would have to go to a nearby resort and safari. The advantage is that you get to experience the flavour of the real Maldivian life.
So you might be thinking how much would it cost for the budget traveller to visit the Maldives. There are guesthouses on the market for as low as 60USD per night. However keep in mind that the Maldives is a collection of scattered islands in multiple atolls. Therefore you have to take a transfer from the airport to the island. If the island is near to the airport, transfer is by speedboat or ferry and quite cheap. However if the island is far from the international airport you might have to take a domestic flight which might be as much as 400USD per person. So be careful of the location of the island and enjoy your stay in the Maldives.