Maldives tourist arrivals up 59% in April

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The Maldives welcomed 145,279 tourists in April 2022, up 59.3% from the same period last year.

But arrivals fell short of pre-pandemic levels by 11% as the war in Ukraine disrupted the strong recovery of tourism since the Maldives reopened borders in July 2020.

As of 11 May, the United Kingdom was the top market with 80,102 holidaymakers and a market share of 12.7%, followed by India (79,562), Russia (60,533), Germany (54,006), and Italy (42,793). The average duration of stay was 8.1 days in April.

Russia was formerly the top market in 2022 with 44,055 holidaymakers as of 2 March but arrivals plummeted after its national airline Aeroflot suspended international flights. Russian tourist arrivals declined by 56% in March. More than 3000 room nights were cancelled as a result, according to a recent survey by the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), a group representing resort operators. Russia, Ukraine and the CIS market accounted for between 20% to 40% of the clientele of the survey participants.  

Despite the setback, tourist arrivals in March registered a growth of 38% compared to the same period in 2021. A total of 150,748 arrivals recorded during the month was 7% below pre-pandemic levels but bed nights increased 11% during the month. Bed nights were also up 12% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the corresponding pre-pandemic period.

Tourism businesses reported an increase in revenue and resort bookings during the first quarter.

The number of Russian tourists is expected to pick up as Aeroflot resumed daily flights to the Maldives last week. Some 297 tourists reportedly arrived on the flight from Moscow to Malé.

There are currently 164 resorts, 659 hotels and guesthouses, and 150 safari vessels in operation across the country.