Tourist arrivals pick up after August-September dip

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Tourist arrivals have started to pick up after falling during August and September. 

Arrivals in August (131, 862 visitors) fell by -8.2 percent compared to the same period in 2021, the first decline registered in a 2022 month after 48% growth on average this year. Growth picked up with a 5.8 increase in September (111,987 visitors). 

After the incremental rise last month, arrivals growth has returned to robust double-digit levels in the first week of October. 

The Maldives welcomed 23, 923 holidaymakers between 1 to 5 October, a 45% increase from the same period in 2021, and a 28.3% increase from the corresponding pre-pandemic period in 2019. 

The August dip came after robust growth in previous months compared to last year, including record-breaking arrivals in May, a nearly 100% increase in June and arrivals surpassing pre-pandemic levels in July.

The government remains optimistic of meeting its target of 1.6 million visitors for 2022 after the Maldives welcomed the one millionth tourist of the year on 12 August.

As of 5 October, total arrivals stood at 1,214,544 tourists. The average duration of stay is down from 8.7 days in 2021 to 8.1 days this year.

India remains the top market with 172,911 tourists as of 5 October, representing a 14.2% market share, followed by Russia (146,806 tourists), the UK (133,280 tourists), Germany (97,145 tourists) and Italy (69,707 tourists).

There are 164 resorts, 154 safari vessels and 867 hotels and guesthouses in operation across the country with a combined bed capacity of 58,493.

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.