Maldives posts big gains in tourist arrivals

Maldives has recorded a significant increase in tourist arrivals in the first two months of the year.

In a statement, tourism ministry said 246,399 tourists visited the Maldives by the end of February this year, compared to the 229,035 in the same period of the previous year. It was a 7.6 percent increase year on year, it added.

Despite growth slowing down in February, the total number of tourists that arrived in the Maldives last month also increased by 0.9 percent compared to February 2016. The ministry blamed the slow growth observed last month on the Chinese New Year, which usually comes in February, falling on the end of January this year.

Tourist demographics have not changed much this year as well, as the figures show that 53 percent of the total arrivals over the past two months consist of Europeans. The European market, a traditional source market for the Maldives tourism industry, observed an year on year increase of 13.5 percent in the first two months.

With 38.8 percent of the total arrivals, Asia Pacific retains its position as the second biggest contributor to the industry. Tourists from the Americas amount to 4.3 percent of the total arrivals in the first two months with the Middle East following with three percent.

The slump in arrivals from China appears to have continued in the first two months of the year, but China remains the single biggest source market for the Maldives tourism industry.

Recovery in the Russian market was, however, evident as Russian visitors to the Maldives increased by 40.3 percent in the first two months of the year. India, one of the most important emerging markets, also continues to post big gains with an year on year increase of 23.6 percent from January-February.

Maldives recorded 1.4 million tourist arrivals last year, and has set a target of crossing the 1.5 million mark this year.


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