H.E. Sunjay Sudhir, the High Commissioner of India in Maldives said that Maldives has done very well in restarting tourism. He said that Maldives is one of the very few countries who have opened up – and that too in a very safe way.
Speaking at the fourth edition of the TTM Travel Summit 2020 about the Indian tourist market and strategies to increase Indian tourist arrivals to the Maldives, H.E. Sunjay Sudhir highlighted that the increase in Indian tourist arrivals to Maldives is spurred by the visa free agreement that was signed between the 2 countries in 2019, which added convenience to the travelers. He further added that for the past 2 years, there have been intensive political and economic engagements that has created a positive vibe about Maldives in Indian media and the better marketing by Maldives as a destination in India has increased the tourist arrivals to Maldives.
Speaking about the current works underway to increase Indian tourist arrivals to Maldives, H.E. Sunjay Sudhir highlighted that its a matter of time for India to surpass the tourist arrivals to make it to the number 1 market for Maldives. Consequently, India is very much committed to increasing tourist arrivals to Maldives and their efforts include the air bubble.
He also signified that at the High Commission level, they are trying to make an outreach to as many tour operators and agencies and anybody who can help the tourism flow from India to Maldives. “We are also working very closely with the Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom and MMPRC to help them in their own efforts so as to kind of have a win-win situation,” he said.
Earlier in August, Maldives and India agreed to establish an Air Bubble between the 2 countries, commencing the first of its kind established in South Asia. The flights are arranged in a safe corridor provided by the local authorities where the tourists can travel straight to their respective resorts from the airport without any hassle, in absence of quarantine restrictions.
Currently there are direct connections to 5 prominent cities in India; Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore to Male’. They are:
From Thiruvananthapuram on Air India – 1 weekly flight (Wednesdays)
From Kochi on IndiGo – 3 weekly flights (Thursdays and Sundays)
From Mumbai on IndiGo – 4 weekly flights (Thursdays and Sundays)
From Mumbai on GoAir – 3 weekly flights (Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturday and Sundays)
From Delhi on GoAir – 3 weekly flights (Wednesdays and Sundays)
From Bangalore on GoAir – 2 weekly flights (Wednesdays, Thursday, Saturday and Sundays)
India is one of the key international tourist markets to the Maldives and increase in number of flights between Maldives and India will increase the tourist arrival to the Maldives.