The Maldives has welcomed a total of 1.5 million tourists this year. The statistics released by the tourism ministry this Sunday reveal a remarkable 13.4% increase in tourist arrivals compared to the same period last year.
Russia maintains its position as the leading source market for tourist arrivals, contributing 172,472 visitors to the Maldives. The Chinese market, which had briefly claimed the second spot, has slipped to third place, with India now regaining its position as the second-largest contributor. The top five tourism source markets include Russia, India, China, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
Some Chinese charter flights were canceled in the past month, resulting in a decline in the Chinese market. However, travel agencies anticipate a resurgence closer to the Chinese New Year, bringing fresh optimism to the sector.
The proposed state budget for 2024 paints an even brighter picture, indicating that while European arrivals are expected to decrease, the number of tourists visiting the Maldives from other markets, including China, is set to rise. The finance ministry submitted a budget of MVR 49.5 billion to the parliament, predicting that more than 2 million tourists will visit the Maldives for the first time in 2024. However, amidst this optimism, the proposed state budget for 2024 also hints at an economic slowdown, with European tourist arrivals not expected to rise significantly.