Saturday, January 29, 2011

2010 records Maldives’ highest tourist arrivals

The Maldives saw the highest number of tourist arrivals ever into the country in 2010, when the number rose by a whopping 20.7 percent compared to 2009.

Altogether 791,917 tourists visited the Maldives from January to December 2010 as against the 685,852 tourist arrivals in 2009. It marks an increase of 130,065 more tourists this year, Haveeru reported quoting the Tourism Ministry statistics.

“Figures show that China dominated the Maldives market last year with 118,961 tourists accounting for 15 percent of the total arrival.”

Tourist arrivals from China increased by 96.1 percent in 2010, it said.

UK follows China closely with 114,158 tourist arrivals into the Maldives that makes up 14.4 percent of the total arrivals.

Maldivian resorts operated 20,195 beds on average last year while the average occupancy stayed at 76.7 percent.

In 2009, 18,962 beds operated while the average occupancy rate stayed at 72.5 percent.

According to the statistics, tourists stayed 5.98 million nights in the Maldives – a 16.3 percent increase to the 2009 figure.

The government expects the tourist arrivals to cross the 800,000 target this year.


Luxury Maldives resort sparks romance for Sarah Harding

Sarah Harding and her long term partner Tom Crane recently announced their engagement from the private island resort of Velassaru, Maldives.

Tom proposed to the stunning Girls Aloud star whist celebrating New Year and enjoying a romantic break at the 5 star luxury resort.

Velassaru, Maldives is a sophisticated resort that pairs contemporary luxury with the natural beauty of the Maldives. This 21 acre coral island is situated in the quiet South Malé Atoll and is one of the finest local resorts accessible via speedboat. Sarah and Tom stayed in the resorts exclusive Pool Villa.

For more information, visit:

Kuoni ( offers 7 nights on room and breakfast basis at the 5-star Velassaru Maldives in a deluxe bungalow, including flights with British Airways from London Gatwick, transfers in resort and lounge in the UK upon departure. Price for 2011 from £1149 per person based on two sharing. Book by 28 February 2011.


Monday, January 24, 2011

South Asian election commissioners exchanging best practices

Chief election commissioners of South Asian countries are meeting here to exchange ideas and best practices to promote electoral democracies in the region.

The two-conference, jointly organized by Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre and Foundation for Advance Management of Elections (FAME) began at Pragati Resorts, about 40 km from Hyderabad.

Except Bhutan, where the municipal elections are on, poll officials of all other South Asian countries are attending the conference, the first event of its kind.

The chief election commissioners of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Maldives, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka are discussing the problems they face in conducting elections and the ways to promote electoral democracies, which include voter education, voter registration and the conduct of free and fair elections.

The conference is being held at the initiative of former chief election commissioners J.M. Lyngdoh, N. Gopalaswami and T.S


Anil Seal, Director, Malaysian Commonwealth Studies Centre, told reporters that the deliberations were being kept private to the participants as their governments may not like election commissioners expressing their views in public.

'We are discussing how to promote best practices in electoral democracy. It includes voter education, how to achieve full and immaculate register of all those who vote, how to count votes accurately and how to have elections which are not distorted by muscle power, money power and all the many factors which distort the voice of the people,' Seal explained.

He said the South Asian countries face common challenges, albeit in different circumstances.

'South Asia has more voters by far than any other single continent of the world. There more than a billion voters. Democracies range from 250,000 voters in 190 islands of Maldives to India with its awesome figures of 710 million voters.

'In the post-conflict situation, the countries face new challenges. Nepal has moved from bullet to ballot while there was three-and-a-half decade long war in Afghanistan. There are difficulties in other neighboring countries,' Seal added.

The theme of the conference will be reflected in the events the Election Commission of India will be organising as the concluding events of its Diamond Jubliee in Delhi.

Election Commissioner V.S. Sampath told reporters that the participants would also share whatever problems they were facing in the conduct of the elections.

Chief Election Commissioner of India S.Y. Quraishi will attend the conference Saturday. The participants include Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, chairman, National Electoral Commission of Ghana and executive secretary, Association of African Election Authorities and P. Manogran, Member Malaysian Election Commission.


Sarah Harding celebrates engagement holiday...with another holiday

After enduring a gruelling new year slumming it in a five-star hotel in the Maldives, relentlessly having to lounge on sun-kissed beaches reading, forcing herself to eat some of the finest food known to man and THEN being given a huge rock of an engagement ring, it’s all become a bit much.

So the Girls Aloud singer, 29, and her fiance Tom have taken a much-deserved break to the Maldives AGAIN to celebrate their news.

Next week, the couple are expected to fly to Thailand to mark their return home*.

Source: After enduring a gruelling new year slumming it in a five-star hotel in the Maldives, relentlessly having to lounge on sun-kissed beaches reading, forcing herself to eat some of the finest food known to man and THEN being given a huge rock of an engagement ring, it’s all become a bit much.
So the Girls Aloud singer, 29, and her fiance Tom have taken a much-deserved break to the Maldives AGAIN to celebrate their news.
Next week, the couple are expected to fly to Thailand to mark their return home*.

Read more:

Monday, January 17, 2011

The end of Indian hegemony in the Maldives

Maldives is a country that is 100% Muslim. After Saudi Arabia, the Maldives is the only nation that has a 100-percent Muslim population. More than 300,000 people in the Maldives, an Asian Ocean archipelago with 1,192 islets. The country is is located 435 miles southwest of Sri Lanka and all its nationals are Sunni.

Nearly one-third of the Maldivians live in the capital city of Malé. maldives is the richest country in South Asia in terms of GDP per head. The Maldives has widespread internet access and the people are very aware of world events. feelings of solidarity with the Palestinians and the Kashmiris run deep.

However due to its proximity with the regional hegemon, Bharat, it faces tremendous interference from Delhi. The last Maldives president had allowed China to build a base in the Maldives, however he was removed from office in a non-military coup which placed a Bharati hand-picked puppet in the Maldives presidency.
There is ubiquitous opposition to Mr. Delhi puppet Mr. Mohamed Nasheed, but he clings to power with draconian measures against all Muslim organizations who want Maldives as an independent and Muslim country.

Mr Yameen the incarcerated leader of the Opposion says he is not willing to hold any talks with the governing puppets of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) until he is released, and says he will only agree to “reasonable” requests.
The Maldives voted for a presidential system in a referendum in 2007, with the then opposition MDP campaigning for a parliamentary system. the new president has acted as if he he is running a dictatorship.

A strong current of Anti-Indianism runs through the Maldives, and most Muslims of the country do not like Delhi or its puppets in the presidency. The Heritage Foundation in the 2011 Index of Economic Freedom report produced by the Wall Street Journal ranks the Maldives has as one of the world’s most economically-repressed countries. Most Maldivians blame India and Najeeb for this low ranking.

Read more from Time of Bombay

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Ballerina may face fine for nude beach pic

Tour operators in Maldives said a former Russian ballerina could face penalties for posing for nude photos on a beach in the country.

Anastasia Volochkova, a former ballet star with Russia's famed Bolshoi Theater, posted the nude photos to her blog Tuesday, RIA Novosti reported Friday.

"Dear paparazzi, just for you! You're hunting for us, stars, trying to take pictures of our pants, and even better to catch us without them. As if we have something others do not," Volochkova wrote in a note accompanying the pictures.

Maldiviana tour operator Lyudmila Mostovaya said Volochkova, who is still in the country on vacation, could face penalties ranging from a warning to a fine.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Ferry service between Maldives and other SAARC countries

The Maldivian government said that it would connect neighbouring countries including Sri Lanka and India to its growing ferry transport network, the Minivan News reported.

Quoting Minister for Transport and Communication Adhil Saleem it said “the government was engaged in discussions with South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) to add its member countries to the Maldives Transportation Network, under phase two of the rollout of its ferry network.”

It was reported that there is currently no scheduled passenger ferry service operating between the Maldives and other SAARC countries, with travellers often forced to fly to their destinations in the Maldives. Minivan News understands that domestically all provinces have at least a skeletal ferry service in place, while the ministry’s statistics show that the new ferry transportation network had completed over 311,000 ferry trips since it began operation last year.



The Maldives’ economic freedom score is 48.3, making its economy the 154th freest in the 2010 Index. Its score has decreased by 0.7 point from last year, with modest declines in half of the 10 economic freedoms. The Maldives is ranked 34th out of 41 countries in the Asia–Pacific region, and its overall score is below the world and regional averages.

Despite the sharp downturn in 2009, the Maldives has undergone average economic growth of over 6 percent over the past five years. However, continuing measures to enhance competitiveness will be vital. The Maldives scores relatively well in business freedom and fiscal freedom. The overall regulatory environment is streamlined and transparent. With no system of direct taxation, government revenue relies on import taxes, tourism taxes, and income generated by state-owned enterprises.

The Maldives’ weaknesses include chronically high government spending, inefficiency of the outsized public sector, and widespread corruption. The government still plays a large role in the economy through state-owned enterprises, limiting and crowding out private-sector activity. Public ownership is widespread in every sector except tourism, and the public sector remains the largest source of employment, hiring over one-third of the labor force.

The Maldives held its first multi-party presidential elections in October 2008. President Mohammed Nasheed was sworn into office on November 11, 2008, succeeding Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had ruled the country for 30 years. The Maldives has largely recovered from the devastation caused by the 2004 Asian tsunami. Tourism is the centerpiece of the economy, contributing 30 percent of GDP in 2009. Fishing employs about 11 percent of the labor force, and manufacturing provides less than 7 percent of GDP.


The Maldives’ regulatory framework has been streamlined and has become more conducive to entrepreneurial activity. However, impediments to sustained private-sector growth and diversification remain considerable, in large part due to other institutional deficiencies such as corruption and weak protection of property rights.

Read more

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Amari heads for the Maldives

Thai residential property developer, Amari Estates Company, has won the lease management contract for the four star Herathera Island Resort in the south Maldives, a twenty minute speedboat ride from Gan International Airport.

Refurbishing and rebranding the resort will cost over 100 million baht (USD3.31 million) and an official agreement will reportedly be signed on January 15th 2011.

The Herathera Island Resort forms part of Amari Estates’ expansion plans in Asia. Future projects include the development of a six hundred million baht (US$19.8 million) three star, two hundred room hotel, under the Ozo brand name, in Koh Samui, Thailand, set for completion in 2012.

This year, Amari Estates will invest in three other properties in Thailand with a total project value of almost 5 billion baht (US$166 million); Oriental Residence in Bangkok, Amari Residences Hua Hin and Amari Hua Hin.


Negotiations underway to set up Sri Lankan University in Maldives

The Sri Lanka Ministry of Higher Education for the first time is negotiating with the Maldivian government to setup a branch of the Sri Jayewardenepura University in Maldives.

It has recently transpired that a delegation from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Higher Education will be making plans to travel to the capital Male to discuss the proposal with the Maldivian government.

The Sri Lanka Ministry of Higher Education plans to first establish a Management Faculty affiliated to the Sri Jayewardenepura University. The Faculty will be providing postgraduate degrees and diplomas in subjects such as business management, business administration, marketing, finance and IT.

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Higher Education, S.B. Dissanayake told Haveeru Daily that the proposal to set up a University in Maldives will further strengthen ties between both countries and will give an opportunity for Maldivian students to take up Sri Lankan degree programs.

“There is a large number of Maldivian students doing their higher studies in Sri Lanka. This university will help students who want to pursue their higher studies but cannot afford to do a degree in Sri Lanka and those who want to complete their higher studies in Maldives itself,” he said.

“This move will definitely strengthen ties between both our countries. We have been sharing a very close relationship with Maldives and we want to take an initiation in setting up a Sri Lankan university for the first time there,” he said.

“I recently met with the Maldivian High Commissioner and other senior officials from the Maldivian High Commission in which we spoke about the university project. The proposal has been sent to the Maldivian Ministry of education,” Minister Dissanayake said.

The plan to set up the university comes in the backdrop of the Maldives High Commissioner in Colombo Hussain Shihab paying a courtesy visit to the Ministry of Higher Education in which he discussed the matter with Minister S.B Dissanayake on December 30.

At the meeting they also discussed expanding the scholarship exchange programme between the two countries.

The First Secretary of the Maldives High Commission Ahmed Mujthaba, Vice Chancellor of the Sri Jayewardenepura University Dr. N.L. A Karunatahne were also present at the event.

Establishing the Sri Jayewardenepura University in Maldives is viewed as Sri Lanka’s move to upgrade its universities into international standards.

Currently the number of students studying in Sri Lanka is around 3,000 and is rapidly growing with the emergence of several private institutions offering post graduate degrees and diplomas in Sri Lanka.

Source: HNS and Haveeru Daily

NTPC India Makes Initiatives to Install Renewable Energy Projects in Maldives

NTPC, the government owned power company of India, is engaged in talks with the Maldivian government to set up renewable energy projects in Male, the capital city of the country. The company has plans to conduct feasibility studies to understand the power generation potential of the country before initiating the projects.

The Indian government considers Maldives, which lay south-west of India, as an important country to maintain the security of the country. Maldives has a population of around 320,000, living all over the 1,192 coral islands of the country.

NTPC occupies the 317th ranking the in the Forbes Global 2000 companies list and generates 33,194 MW power every year. The company has plans to double its power generation to achieve 75,000 MW by 2017. Recently, the company has unveiled its plans to produce 35,840 MW by utilizing non-fossil fuel sources and achieve 70% of its total power generation from renewable energy sources by the year 2032. The company presently produces most of its power utilizing coal. The company has plans to install 1,000 MW power generation capabilities by 2017 from renewable energy sources such as geothermal, wind, solar and small hydro power generation plants.

Earlier NTPC had constructed a 500 MW power project in Sri Lanka and the project was delayed by four years due to variances in financial agreements and internal squabble of the country. Its unsuccessful attempts in overseas countries include securing of coal mines in Africa and gas supply positions in Yemen and Nigeria.


Indians pay 78% of medical expenses from their own pocket Read more: Indians pay 78% of medical expenses from their own pocket

Most of the medical expenses incurred by an average Indian are paid from their own pocket.

According to an analysis published in the medical journal `Lancet', private expenditure on health in India is close to 78% compared to 14% in the Maldives, 29% in Bhutan, 53% in Sri Lanka, 31% in Thailand and 61% in China.

Only Pakistan is worse off with private expenditure being as high as 82.5%. The paper, "Financing health care for all: challenges and opportunities", says two features of the private out-of-pocket expenditure in India are noteworthy.

First, most of the expenditure (74%) was incurred for outpatient treatment, and not for hospital care. Only 26% was for inpatient treatment. Secondly, purchasing drugs accounted for 72% of the total private out-of-pocket expenditure.

According to Dr A K Shiva Kumar, one of the primary authors of the paper, nearly 39 million people in India are pushed to poverty because of ill health every year. Around 30% in rural India actually didn't go for any treatment for pure financial reasons in 2004, up from 15% in 1995. Similarly, in urban areas, 20% of ailments were untreated for financial reasons in 2004, up from 10% in 1995. Shockingly, 47% of hospital admissions in rural India and 31% in urban India were financed by loans and the sale of assets.

Dr Kumar, who is part of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's high level expert group on universal health coverage, told TOI, "The health sector at present is a rip off for the common man. The future has to be tax funded. Preventive, primary and some part of secondary treatment has to be completely free, cashless and provided by the government and funded through taxes."

Medical insurance too has a meager market share. According to the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganised Sector, only 7% of India's workforce is in the organised sector. The remaining 93% are cultivators, agricultural labourers, artisans and workers who typically do not have a regular or assured source of income.

Analysis of the per person public spending on health has also thrown up bleak results. While the government spent just 19 purchasing power parity (PPP) dollars on every person for health, the figure stood at 207 in Thailand, 122 in China, 88 in Sri Lanka, 751 in Maldives and 60 in Bhutan. "The per person government spending on health in India was about 22% of that in Sri Lanka, 16% of that in China and less than 10% of that in Thailand," the paper says.

Public spending on health -- 0.94% of the gross domestic product (GDP) -- is among the lowest in the world.

Between 1986 and 2004, the average real expenditure per hospital admission increased three times in government and private hospitals. The sharp increase in the prices of drugs has been the main reason for the rising costs of medical care, which more than tripled between 1993-94 and 2006-07, says the paper.

Dr Kumar added, "Between 1993-94 and 2004-05, compared with a 67% increase in real per person income and an 82% increase in per person tax collections, real per person public health expenditure rose from Rs 84 to Rs 125 -- an increase of 48%."

Source: Times of India

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kuoni Launches its 'We Know What You're Thinking' Sale Campaign

Kuoni, the luxury tour operator, has launched its innovative 'We know what you're thinking' marketing campaign, injecting personality into the search by travellers for a break away from the UK's winter gloom.
Kuoni's luxury holidays offer premium service, destination insight and affordability as well as allowing customers to enjoy savings of up to 40%, plus an additional 5% discount online.

To convey this message in an engaging way, the tour operator has designed a campaign that resonates with customer sentiment and needs as they think about planning their time away from it all. Some of the messages include 'Re-charge your batteries without being charged the earth'; 'Mind, body and soul breaks that are good for your wallet, purse and credit card' and 'I want to broaden my mind not permanently shrink my bank balance'.

The messages reflect the fact that many people have less to spend in today's modern society and are seeking better value for money in the luxury market.
Kuoni has invested in media across the marketing mix to communicate to customers at various touch points including the company's retail stores, the Internet, press advertising, outdoor and radio.
A wide range of holidays are on offer, designed to suit a variety of needs: customers can relax and soak up sun on Maldives holidays; indulge in spa therapy in St Lucia, Thailand or Oman; sign up for adventure in Malaysia, India Peru or Marrakech; encounter game on safari holidays in Kenya; tour around Sri Lanka and much more.
The Kuoni retail stores, which are situated around the UK, are also getting into the sale spirit. Personal travel experts are wearing specially designed shirts are promoting the campaign while large plasma screens show short films of the holidays on offer. Creative window displays will also entice shoppers in-store to avoid the British weather.

To reflect the increasing use of mobile phones to research holidays, Kuoni has also included QR codes in their press advertising. iPhone users will be able to scan the code to download Kuoni's new, innovative and interactive iPhone app and then check out the latest sale offers.

For the latest luxury holiday offers, travellers can visit the Kuoni website.


THAI Offers Code-Share Flights to the Maldives

Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) announced that the company is operating code-share flights to the Maldives in cooperation with Bangkok Airways, on the route Bangkok-Maldives-Bangkok.

THAI is pleased to offer code-share flights to the Maldives, renown for its splendor and natural beauty. Flights to the Maldives will be operated at a frequency of three flights per week on Monday, Thursday, and Sunday, utilizing Airbus A319 aircraft.

The flight program for flights on the route Bangkok – Maldives v.v. during the winter schedule, now until 26 March 2011, are as follows:

Marketing Flight No

Flight Days






Mon, Thurs, Sun






Mon, Thurs, Sun





(Departures and arrivals in local time)

“The code-share agreement between THAI and Bangkok Airways on the return route from Bangkok to Maldives significantly offers more travel opportunities for passengers who book and travel with THAI. Through this code-share arrangement, more passengers will be able to travel to the Maldives, the island nation in the Indian Ocean formed by a double chain of 26 atolls, and experience the renown pure beauty of the Maldives at its best,” said Mr. Weerawat Swasdibutra, THAI General Manager for Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives.

Currently, THAI serves 71 destinations worldwide in 34 countries, spanning five continents. THAI operates flights to cities in Europe, Russia, Africa, Middle East, People’s Republic of China, Indian sub-continent, Australasia, and the United States.

The new code-share services between THAI and Bangkok Airways on the route Bangkok to Maldives took effect on 30 December 2010.

Source: Thai Airways International

Carlson announces second Radisson property in the Maldives

Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company, announced the signing of a second Radisson property in the Maldives.

The USD 91 million, 281-villa resort, owned by Three K International Private Limited, is expected to open in the third quarter of 2012 on the island of Naagoshi.

The Radisson Plaza Resort Maldives, Naagoshi will feature 182 land and 99 overwater, contemporary villas designed by Hassell, the award-winning, multidisciplinary firm which has been appointed architectural, interior and landscape design consultants for the resort.

“The addition of this resort property fuels our Ambition 2015 growth strategy to expand Radisson as a vibrant, contemporary and engaging brand in key cities, resort and airport locations throughout Asia Pacific,” said Simon Barlow, president, Carlson Hotels, Asia Pacific.

“This spectacular resort is being created as a unique holiday sanctuary retreat for couples and families, through distinct facilities and design features catering to both markets,” said Xerxes Meher-Homji, executive vice president and chief development officer, Carlson Hotels, Asia Pacific.

“We are excited to be joining Carlson as the Radisson brand continues its strong momentum in the region, and are confident that the Radisson Plaza Resort Maldives, Naagoshi will be well received by leisure travelers from around the world,” said Sergey Komarav, chairman, Three K International Private Limited.

Hotel guests will enjoy a variety of dining options, including an overwater Pan Asian restaurant, an all-day dining restaurant, a poolside bar, and a seafood restaurant. The overwater seafood restaurant, discreetly located at the southwestern corner of the resort, will feature paths trailing out onto five private overwater dining pods for couples seeking a romantic dining experience.

Additional resort facilities will include a gym, a dedicated yoga work out space, a large spa with 16 treatment rooms, badminton and tennis courts, an outdoor swimming pool, a meeting and function room, a diving and water sports center, and butler stations.

The resort’s kid’s club concept of learning, exploring, nature and growth will be brought to life through extensive facilities comprising a children’s swimming pool, playground with a sandpit, a games room, a movie and a library corner, and a cooking station.

The Radisson Plaza Resort Maldives, Naagoshi is being constructed on Naagoshi Island, on the northern Hua Dhaalu Atoll and is 45 minutes by sea plane from the Male International Airport. Carlson has another hotel presently under construction in the Maldives, the 250-room Radisson Hotel Maldives Hulhumale scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2013.

Last October, Carlson announced plans to increase the number of Radisson hotels in Asia Pacific to over 100 hotels by 2015. The Radisson portfolio in Asia Pacific includes 11 other resorts in Australia (Gold Coast), China (Huizhou and Sanya), India (Alibaug, Goa and Mamallapuram), the South Pacific (Fiji and Tahiti) and Thailand (Hua Hin, Pattaya and Phuket).


China vows to step up parliamentary cooperation with Maldives

China's top legislator, Wu Bangguo, met with his Maldivian counterpart Abdulla Shahid in Beijing Monday and called for closer relations between the two nations and the two parliaments.

Wu, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, said the growth of bilateral relations in recent years had yielded substantial benefits for the two peoples.

Wu said China valued ties with the Maldives and was willing to maintain friendly exchanges and cooperation at all levels in an effort to expand political mutual trust and economic and trade cooperation in fields such as fisheries, tourism, and infrastructure construction.

China would encourage Chinese companies to further participate in the Maldives' national construction and more Chinese tourists to visit the country, Wu said.

Wu voiced his hope for stronger coordination between the two nations on international issues in order to build a relationship that would be a model for relations between big and small nations.

Wu suggested the two legislatures promote dialogue and exchanges of views among members on successful experiences of national construction so as to inject new vitality to the development of bilateral relations.

Shahid, speaker of the Maldivian People's Majlis, said the Maldivian people treasured the friendship of the Chinese people, and the rapid growth of the Chinese economy offered inspiration to developing countries, including the Maldives.

Shahid pledged the Maldivian parliament would continue to play a constructive role in promoting bilateral relations.

Shahid is leading a Maldivian parliamentary delegation to China at the invitation of Wu. The delegation arrived in China on Jan. 8. It is Shahid's first visit to China as the country's chief legislator.


GeoEye wins VMS contract for Republic of Maldives

GeoEye, Inc. has won a contract from the Republic of the Maldives for a vessel monitoring system that is being developed for fisheries management and safety.

As part of the contract, GeoEye will build the secure infrastructure for a countrywide vessel monitoring system and supply 10 Osprey Personal Tracker™ terminals for a trial deployment.

GeoEye's vessel monitoring system will display vessel positions and consolidate fish catch reports from the Osprey terminals in near-real-time for review by fisheries management personnel at the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture.

The vessel monitoring system also provides the customer with two-way text communication by satellite for both routine and emergency purposes. An integrated "panic button" on each Osprey unit will alert Maldives emergency services to vessels in distress. Vessel positions and messaging will be tracked securely through a comprehensive Web-based control system and database that will include satellite-derived oceanographic charts that GeoEye will update daily.

Adam Manik, director of the Fisheries Development Services section at the Ministry of Fisheries and Agriculture, said, "GeoEye scored highest among the competing firms on their technical proposal and offered the most competitive price. We look forward to working with GeoEye to meet our project targets."

Osprey Personal Tracker terminals report latitude/longitude (GPS) positions on a pre-programmed frequency using the Inmarsat global satellite constellation.