Maldives gaining in popularity amongst Australians, new survey shows

Maldives is becoming more and more popular amongst Australian travellers, a new survey has revealed.

Australia-based booking agency Kayak.com.au looked at emerging destinations that are seeing huge growth in search numbers and said that the Maldives has seen an year-on-year growth of 86 percent. This puts the Maldives amongst the five destinations that have seen the strongest growth over the past year.

Other destinations that made it to the list include the Chinese city of Chengdu (133 percent growth), Da Nang in Vietnam (109 percent growth), Athens in Greece (100 percent) and Ulan Bator in Mongolia (81 percent).

Australia has posted significant gains recently, with arrivals to the Maldives increasing by 9.1 percent in the first seven months of the year compared to the same period of last year.

The Australian market, however, continues to face several challenges, especially due to the lack of air connectivity. With no direct flights between Australia and the Maldives, travellers now have to opt for transit flights with layovers in Singapore, Bangkok or Colombo.

After years of double-digit growth in tourism, the Maldives has over the recent years observed a slowdown in growth, mainly due to a slump in arrivals from China. However, the decline in the Chinese market has been largely offset by a strong recovery in the traditional European market, contributing to promising gainsin overall tourist arrivals.

Despite tourist arrivals crossing the one million milestone and on course to reach 1.5 million by the end of this year, the Maldives has struggled to create demand amidst a significant increase in bed capacity.

However, the latest figures and the emergence of new markets are welcome signs for the Maldives tourism industry, which is the main economic activity in the island nation.

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