July tourist arrivals exceed pre-pandemic levels

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The Maldives welcomed 133,561 tourists in July, up 1.1% from the same month in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Total arrivals for 2022 reached 960,075 holidaymakers by 3 August, a whopping 53.3% increase from the first seven months of 2021 but -4.8% below pre-pandemic levels.

The Maldives is on course for 1.6 million arrivals after reaching 50% of the target for 2022 by the end of June.

Tourist arrivals in July also increased 31.2% compared to the same period last year. The average duration of stay last month was 8.3 days, up from an average of 6.3 days in 2019.

India remains the top market with 137,790 tourists as of 3 August, representing a 14.4% market share, followed by the UK (111,657 tourists), Russia (103,365 tourists), Germany (77,306 tourists) and Italy (54,822 tourists).

There are 163 resorts, 155 safari vessels and 849 hotels and guesthouses in operation across the country with a combined bed capacity of 57,487.

The Maldives tourism industry continues its robust recovery despite setbacks posed by the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – which caused arrivals to plummet from the top market – and the complete absence of Chinese holidaymakers, who accounted for the largest source market before the pandemic. 

Tourist arrivals in May meanwhile surpassed the pre-pandemic record, prompting the tourism ministry to declare that the “Maldives is now a year-round destination.” The record signalled 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.

Before the incremental rise last month, May was 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.