Giuseppe D’Amato – Managing Director, TGI Maldives Pvt Ltd
The start of the civil war in Sri Lanka in 1983 led Giuseppe D’Amato to decide to come to the Maldives as a means to escape the turmoil. Ceasing off his holiday in Sri Lanka, his first step in the now highly sought honeymoon destination was in the then Furana Resort (now Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa). Arriving ahead of a large group of Italian travellers to the resort, Giuseppe was offered the chance to work in the dive centre by the locals running it at the time. Being a sea enthusiast influenced by Cousteau documentaries from a young age on with the added advantage of being a diver as an assistant instructor, it was a true calling for Giuseppe. He went on to be offered the chance of operating a dive centre in Halaveli in 1984, eventually forming TGI Maldives, now a veteran dive operator of the Maldives.
Strategically located to explore the oceanic wonderment of unique dive sites, TGI ensures professional diving with convenience from its dive centres with watersports and excursion outings as alternative options to scuba diving. 99% of the Maldives, which is the ocean, is the essence of what the Maldives stands for and TGI Maldives is one such company that can help to realise the pure blues of the ocean with its colourful palette of corals and aquatic life.
Currently, on a quest to restructure the company due to the changing trends of scuba diving, the company is focusing on the upper echelon of the centres it manages. Centres, where watersports and excursions are available, are becoming quite popular with travellers. With newer gadgets being introduced every day with its technological savviness, the profit margins for scuba diving has narrowed down. Hence, to catch up with the competition becomes more costly.
OBLU by Atmosphere at Helengeli is where TGI operates their iBubble, the professional underwater camera and their underwater drone; the gadgets that are added to TGI Maldives’ portfolio.
Finding the right fit for the company has been quite a challenge as well, due to the increase of more and more resort openings with a shortage of good employees with technical skills. However, Giuseppe believes that it can be overcome with better collaborations between resort operators.
The hospitality industry of the Maldives has taken a turn in the recent decade with more safari boats and guest houses offering competitive prices with luxury resort openings gaining momentum. The mix seems to be very diverse and Giuseppe asserts that it is difficult to envisage how the future of the industry will be for the Maldives.
TGI Maldives plans on consolidating what it has for the next couple of years. With the added bonus of two new openings last year and one new opening this year, the company is still in the top-tier market of scuba diving. The central focus will still be on scuba diving with hopes of newer opportunities in the future. Water sports will additionally be a prime focus with visions of expanding on that front. A new big game fishing boat is being prepared, while the delivery of their second parasailing boat is expected, as a means of expanding its activities in the ocean; paving ways for sea dwellers to experience it in different ways with TGI Maldives. Their first parasailing boat is currently operating in Constance Halaveli Maldives.