The ceremony officiated by President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom was attended, among others, by representatives of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO), airlines operating in and into the Maldives, foreign tour operators and relevant Government Ministries and agencies. Among the invitees were also representatives of island offices, island development committees and women?s committees from the three northern-most atolls of Haa Alifu, Haa Dhaalu and Shaviyani. The thrust of the Maldives Third Tourism Master Plan is on expanding and strengthening the Maldives tourism as an instrument of economic and social development in a manner that benefits all Maldivians in all parts of the country. The Plan stresses the development of the industry along the lines of sustainability, adopting environmentally and socially responsible tourism practices. Accordingly, the Plan emphasizes developing tourism in harmony with nature, facilitating and enhancing private sector investment, developing human resources, creating greater employment opportunities and diversifying markets and products. Contrary to previous Plans, the Third Tourism Master Plan is formulated as a living document? to ensure its responsiveness to rapid changes in the Maldivian economy and global trends in the industry. The Plan, unlike the two previous Plans, stipulates strategies and actions along with target dates and performance measures in achieving the goals of the Plan specified in Section One. This year the Maldives celebrates 35 years of tourism in the country.