Maldives Promotion House – The ‘Maldives Visitors Survey 2011’ report by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture has been launched. The survey was conducted at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport (INIA) via a seven language questionnaire, during April last year.
According to the report most tourist arrivals are still from China, ranking it as number one while most visitors in general, specifically 15 percent are senior officials, legislators and managers. Some 28 percent of visitors were professionals.
Approximately 64 percent of tourist arrivals were for holiday vacations, while 20 percent visited for their honeymoons. 9 percent of visitors stayed on safari vessels. A staggering 10 percent of visitors came just for diving, with 22 percent declaring that the natural environment Maldives is its major attraction. Among visitors 16 percent noted the tropical climate as the most attractive feature of the country and 13 percent noted the peacefulness and uniqueness as a major plus point.
Some 28 percent of visitors were directed to Maldives via word of mouth and 24 percent found Maldives through internet and social media. Moreover, one among every four visitors, have been to Maldives before.
As a credit to the underwater beauty of Maldives, 41 percent of tourists enjoyed snorkelling while diving and spa treatments ranked second at 17 percent. Expenditure trends show that tourists have been spending more recently with a majority of 53 percent spending less than USD 1000.
While waiting time and airport services including cafés, restaurants and shopping were marked among those which needed improvement, the quality of hotel transfer was rated excellent by most visitors.
Maldives was described by most tourists as ‘heavenly’, ‘a dream’ and ‘beyond expectations’ with 88 percent claiming their holiday expectations have been met. Some 86 percent also claimed they intend to visit again while 90 percent wanted to recommend the Maldives to others.
Some of the policy implications marked in the report includes that the quality, safety and environmental issues faced by the country needs to be seriously addressed due to the growing popularity for livaboards and yacht tourism.
The report also highlighted that the country needs to adapt to the ever increasing Chinese market. It also states that snorkelling, diving and spa experiences need to be well nurtured in order to maintain the positive image of the Maldivian tourism industry.