As we edge closer to the upcoming holiday period, Maldives’ tourism industry looks set for a highly promising festive season.
As the Maldives bounces back from the COVID-19 situation, tourist arrivals to the Maldives have shown steady improvement. Since the country reopened its borders to international travellers from 15th July 2020, the destination has continued to witness recovery and remains on course in reaching its target arrival figure of 1.5 million.
In fact, on 16th July 2021 a total of 555,006 tourist arrivals had already been reached, exceeding the 2020 annual total of 555,494. By 27th September the total arrivals to the Maldives exceeded 858,000, an increase of 114% compared to that of 2020.
While major markets such as Russia and India made full recovery with strong positive growth rates, new markets emerged from the European Region and the Middle East. Daily average arrivals for the year remain above 3,100 as of 27th September 2021.
According to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Tourism, there are currently 883 total tourist accommodation facilities in operation, including resorts, marinas, guesthouses, safari vessels and hotels. The current operational capacity equates to 51,056 beds.
Arrivals continue to gain momentum as travel restrictions ease across the world. In July, borders reopened for South Asian markets following a temporary closure due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the region. Now, India is leading as the top source market for tourist arrivals to the Maldives.
As of 26th September 2021, the top ten source markets to the Maldives are: India with 22.9% of the market share, Russia with 19.8%, Germany with 6.1%, U.S.A with 4.1%, Saudi Arabia with 3.5%, Ukraine with 3.3%, Spain with 3.0% shares, United Kingdom with 2.1%, Kazakhstan with 2.1%, and France with 1.9%.
The future outlook of the Maldivian tourist market is nothing short of promising either. Recently, Maldives was removed from the UK’s ‘red list’, meaning that travellers from the UK will no longer need to self-isolate for 10 days when returning from the Maldives. Additionally, fully vaccinated individuals will no longer have to take a PCR test before they return to the UK from the Maldives. Additionally, the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) has announced that it no longer advises against all but essential travel to the Maldives. As a result, it is expected that tourist arrivals from the UK will increase in the coming months.
What’s more, Italy’s Health Minister signed an ordinance, established on an experimental basis and with precise safety protocols, giving the go-ahead for travel to various non-EU tourist destinations including the Maldives, without the need for quarantine either on arrival or return. Prior to the pandemic, Italy was one of top three source markets to the Maldives. With the easing of the aforementioned travel restrictions, it is likely that arrivals from Italy will surge as well.