Surprise for 'celebrity' first tourist to Maldives in 2016

A sudden change in the flight schedule had forced Kate Holmes to travel to Maldives for holiday alone. Her friend got bumped to a later flight and Kate arrived in Maldives on Friday morning's Oman Air flight alone. But as soon as she got off the flight, she got the surprise of her life.

Kate Holmes became the first tourist to arrive in the Maldives in 2016.

"I was very very surprised. I feel like I'm a celebrity," the British national told reporters inside the VIP lounge.

Among the pleasant gifts, Kate received a vacation from Outrigger Konotta Resort in Gaaf Dhaal Atoll.

Kate was actually the third tourist to get off the flight. An Arab couple, first off the flight declined the attention of the gathered officials and reporters. Kate had already made her way to the Immigration counter by the time the officials sought her out.

The onrushing officials and reporters took Kate by surprise and it took awhile for the news to sink in.

She was then welcomed by top officials of the Maldives and Marketing and PR Corporation (MMPRC) and escorted to the VIP lounge.

Kate said she was slated to arrive on Friday afternoon with her friend to spend her five-day vacation in the reclaimed suburb Hulhumale. But she got bumped up to the morning flight, she said.

As an avid traveler, Kate has already visited 49 countries prior to her visit to the island nation. Kate said she had chosen Maldives for her 50th visit to make it special.

MMPRC has decided to host a special welcome for the 50,000th visitor to Maldives this year.


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