Maldives welcomes half a million tourists

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Tourists arrivals to the Maldives reached the milestone of half a million in the first quarter of 2023.

With five days to spare, arrivals in Q1-2023 exceeded the total of 482,978 tourist arrivals recorded in the corresponding pre-pandemic period of Q1-2019.

A total of 500,597 holidaymakers visited as of 26 March 2023, up 22% from the same period last year. The daily average stood at 6,501 with an average duration of stay of eight days.

Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom expressed optimism of meeting the target of a record-breaking 1.8 million tourists this year.

Russia remains the top market with 60,590 tourists, representing a market share of 12.1%, followed by India (52,734), United Kingdom (45,545), Italy (43,869), and Germany (34,516).

As the tourism industry approaches the end of its traditional high season – which includes the busy Christmas-New Year period – the annual growth rate in tourist arrivals slowed from 31% in January to 16.7% in March.

Arrivals in January were also up 13.8% from pre-pandemic levels. Tourist arrivals registered a whopping 31% increase compared to January 2022 as Chinese holidaymakers returned after a hiatus of nearly three years. A total of 15,175 Chinese tourists arrived by 23 March. 

There were 169 resorts, 894 guesthouses, 153 safari vessels and 13 hotels in operation as of last week with a combined bed capacity of 60,382.

A total of 1,675,294 tourists visited the Maldives in 2022, exceeding the government’s optimistic forecast for the year.