Maldives set to benefit as Spanish outbound travel to Asia set to rise

Maldives is set to benefit as increased connectivity between Spain and Asia Pacific will add to the growth of outbound travellers from Spain to Asia, an analysis by travel data company Forward Keys has shown.

In its analysis titled, Air Travel Trends for Outbound Spain 2016, Forward Keys said Asia Pacific was the most increasing destination (15.7 percent) during 2016. Most of its markets grew at double-digit rates, including some of the top destinations: China (13 percent), Japan (16 percent), India (17 percent) and Vietnam (32 percent). The increase has been aided by a capacity boost, up 38 percent during 2016, it said.

Spaniards spent more days on average in Asia Pacific. While the average stay for Spanish outbound travellers was 12 days on average, those who travelled to Asia Pacific countries — mostly couples — stayed for 18 days on average. Other popular destinations such as Europe and North America were comparatively low, with six and 13 days respectively.

The analysis also projects a rosy outlook for Spanish outbound travel this year, especially with regards to Asia Pacific.

According to the analysis, Asia is boosting its connectivity with Spain (163 percent) in the first half of 2017. Growth started in the second half of 2016 aided by new players; Cathay Pacific (Hong Kong – Madrid), Iberia (connecting Madrid with Shanghai and Tokyo) and China Eastern (Madrid –Shanghai), while traditional players Singapore Airlines and Thailand Airlines dropped their routes. However, landscape for next six months has completely changed, with new players and routes, including Delhi (Air India), Seoul (Korean Air) and Chengdu (Beijing Capital Airlines), it added.

The positive outlook on Spanish outbound travel bodes well for the Maldives tourism industry as Europe is still its major source market. Official figures show that 23,393 Spaniards holidayed in the Maldives last year, a 31 percent rise from the 17,816 the year before.

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