Maldives beats pre-pandemic tourist arrivals record for May

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A new monthly record has been set as tourist arrivals in May surpassed the pre-pandemic record of 103,022 visitors in May 2019.

Some 104,046 holidaymakers arrived by 25 May, up a whopping 87% from the same period last year. Arrivals are expected to reach 125,000 by the end of the month, according to the tourism ministry, which observed that the “Maldives is now a year-round destination.”

The new record signals a shift from the “seasonal tourism” that prevailed with a peak period from December to March, Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom told the press, expressing optimism for future prospects with more favourable global conditions.

The robust growth in May was driven by higher arrivals from all major markets, including strong numbers from non-traditional markets such as India, Saudi Arabia and the United States.

India remains the top market with 86,358 tourists as of 18 May, followed by the United Kingdom (82,325), Russia (62,545), Germany (56,058) and Italy (43,748).

Total arrivals of 680,846 so far this year is up 53% from 2021 but falls short of pre-pandemic levels by -6.8%. The average duration of stay is 8.3 days. There were 164 resorts, 660 hotels and guesthouses, and 150 safari vessels in operation as of 25 May.

May becomes only the fourth month – after August, October and November 2021 – to record an increase in arrivals compared to the corresponding pre-pandemic period since borders reopened in July 2020.