With 117 percent rise in bookings, Maldives tops American Express’ hot summer destinations list

Maldives has topped the list of hot summer destinations this year as bookings have seen a staggering 117 percent increase, according to a new report by American Express Travel.

Data collected by American Express Travel shows a 26 percent increase in international travel this summer.

The report said that while iconic destinations such as Paris and Rome remain favourites, travellers’ curiosity is prompting discovery of off-the-beaten path global destinations. The Maldives has seen the highest growth in summer bookings as the number has risen by 117 percent this summer, it added.

Listing the Maldives, American Express Travel noted that the Maldives has been a hot spot for celebrities and affluent clientele alike over the last year. This newfound interest in the Maldives can be attributed to its dreamy private isles that are known for their secluded beaches, blue, lagoons and cascading coral reefs, it said.

Other destinations that made to the American Express’ list of hot summer destinations include Bilbao in Spain (114 percent), Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam (97 percent), Costa Smeralda in Italy (90 percent), Zagreb in Croatia (89 percent), Marrakech in Morocco (77 percent), Ixtap in Mexico (69 percent), Mumbai in India (69 percent), Glasgow in Scotland (69 percent) and Israel (56 percent).

“From the Maldives – which is showing an outstanding 117 percent increase in summer bookings – to Costa Smeralda, Marrakech and Zagreb, travellers are increasingly drawn to this idea of luxury escapism and seeking ways to disconnect – not from technology or creature comforts – but from the everyday chaos,” said Claire Bennett, EVP and GM of American Express Travel, in a written release.

Although the Maldives is an all-year round destination, the high season falls between December and March when its winter in Europe. Resorts in the Maldives enjoy occupancy levels of over 80 percent during this period.

Despite being a traditionally slow season for the Maldives tourism industry, summer is off to a good start this year, as arrivals to the Maldives saw a double digit increase in April. Official figures show that a total of 119,774 tourists visited the Maldives in April — a 15.7 percent increase over the 103,493 tourists in April 2016.

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