The Maldives welcomed the 1.3 millionth tourist of 2021 on Monday (27 December) with a ceremony at the Velana International Airport to celebrate the milestone.

Romanian tourist Constantin Stelian Emil and his family, who arrived via GullivAir, was presented with special gifts on behalf of the tourism ministry and Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

“Reaching 1.3 million visitors is not a small achievement considering how volatile the global tourism situation has been throughout the year,” said MMPRC CEO Thoyyib Mohamed. “This is all thanks to the consistent and courageous efforts of all frontline workers, the government, ministries, MMPRC, other stakeholders, NGO’s and associations. We have many plans for the next year and will hopefully bring in even greater achievements as we proceed.”

The authorities revised its annual target to 1.3 million tourist arrivals after the initial target of one million visitors – 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels – was reached by the end of October. The tourism ministry expects a record-shattering two million tourists in 2022.

MMPRC, the government company tasked with tourism promotion, carried out over 400 different marketing activities in 24 global markets this year, including fairs, roadshows, familiarisation trips, marketing campaigns, webinars and interviews. As the country celebrates its tourism golden jubilee next year, MMPRC has 17 fairs, roadshows, and events scheduled for the first quarter of 2022.