Feb 13 - Despite political crisis in the Maldives, holidaymakers continue to enjoy the sun and sand at the island nation's luxury resorts. Megan Detrie reports.
Holidaymakers on resort islands in the Maldives have so far been unaffected by the political crisis in the capital. A police mutiny in Male forced former President Mohamed Nasheed to step down last week. Riot police continue to clash with protesters in the street. But, just a 10-minute boat ride from Male, at the Kurumba island resort, a Polish tourist says trouble feels far away. (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLISH TOURIST SAYING: "We've heard there are some riots there. Of course we were a little bit anxious about what's going to happen but the people here try to calm us down and they are saying everything is OK, and we really don't notice that something is going on on the islands. Here everything is normal." Tourism makes up an estimated 30 percent of the economy for the Maldives, a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean. Luxury tourism transformed the islands from a remote fishing outpost to a favourite destination for Hollywood stars and honeymooners. But officials warn that if the crisis continues it may scare away holidaymakers. Megan Detrie, Reuters