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Maldives inches closer to its 2021 target of 1.3 million tourists

The Maldives is all set to achieve its tourist footfall target of 1.3 million in the year 2021 as it witnessed remarkable growth in recent months

Dec 21, 2021
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Maldives inches closer to its 2021 target of 1.3 million tourists (Photo: Raajje)

The Maldives is all set to achieve its tourist footfall target of 1.3 million in the year 2021 as it witnessed remarkable growth in recent months. Around 1.24 million tourists have already visited the archipelago until  18 December, with a daily average of 5100 in the month. 

Tourism, a key pillar of the Maldives’ economy, contributes almost 70 percent of the country’s total revenues. However, its economy, which contracted almost by 30 percent in 2020, was hit hard by the pandemic, which brought the global travel and tourism industry to a complete halt in March 2020. 

Despite re-opening tourism in August last year, it recorded around 550,000 visitors in 2020— a sharp decline from 1.7 million recorded in 2019. Between January 1 – December 18 this year, it recorded a steep 147.3 percent growth in arrivals in comparison to the same period last year. 

However, in comparison to 2019, the arrivals are still less by almost 22 percent. On 18 December, it recorded the highest daily arrival, 7000, in the current year. Around 144,000 tourists visited in November—the highest monthly record in 2020. 

The recovery is backed by easing travel restrictions around the world, with increased vaccine coverage. India remains the largest source market for Maldives tourism, contributing over a fifth  (22.6 percent) of its total tourists this year so far. Russia came second after India, contributing almost 19 percent. Germany is at third, with 7.1 percent tourists. 

The year 2019, prior to the pandemic, was the historic milestone in the archipelago’s tourism industry, with over 1.7 million visitors. Importantly, China, which used to be the Maldives’ largest source market, hasn’t yet opened its borders for outbound travelers.

Awarded the World’s Leading Travel Destination for two consecutive years, the Maldives is gearing up to celebrate the golden jubilee of its tourism industry next year in 2022. 

(SAM) 

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