Tourist arrivals to the Maldives over the year have crossed the one million mark, as the beach holiday destination posted a major increase in arrival numbers last month.
Official figures for the month of October released by the tourism ministry show that a total of 127,986 tourists visited the Maldives during the month — an 8.9 percent increase over the 117,489 tourists in October 2016.
Travel trends and demographics remain largely unchanged, as traditional source markets such as Europe and Russia continued their recovery, while the Chinese market posted another decline.
Europe, the largest regional source market which has been recovering after a period of falling growth, posted an overall growth of 12 percent over October 2016, as arrivals increased to 62,018 from 55,368. Almost all the important European markets such as the UK (up 0.2 percent), Germany (up 14.9 percent), Italy (up 18.8 percent) and Spain (up 16.7 percent) performed well last month.
Asia, which has become a major emerging source market, continued its recovery, as South Asia and South East Asia posted strong performances in October.
Although arrivals from Sri Lanka declined by 20.3 percent, the number of tourists from India, the Maldives’ closest neighbour, observed a growth of 17.7 percent. With the latest increase, arrivals from India have increased by 25.4 percent during the past 10 months of the year to reach 63,141 from 50,369 in the same period last year.
Despite major declines in many Southeast Asian markets in September, major contributors from the region posted strong gains in October, with arrivals from countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines increasing by 27.6 percent, 88 percent and 4.1 percent respectively.
However, China, which still remains the single biggest source market, continued its downward spiral in October as well with a 2.6 percent drop. Taking into account the latest decline, arrivals from China have decreased 8.2 percent in the past 10 months of this year compared to the same period of last year.
Relatively new markets posted significant gains last month as well, as arrivals from the Americas were up 14.1 percent, Oceania up 29.2 percent and Africa up 33.7 percent.
Arrivals from the US, which has recently secured a place amongst the top 10 contributors to the Maldives tourism industry, increased by 12 percent to reach 3,043 last month compared to the 2,716 in October 2016, while the number of visitors from Australia also increased by 24.4 percent. South Africa, which was once a major source market for the Maldives, also showed signs of recovery, as arrivals from the country increased by 34.8 percent in October.
The volatility in the Middle Eastern market was once again evident in October as visitor numbers decreased by 4.7 percent. This major decline is due to weak performance by many major Middle Eastern markets, including Saudi Arabia (down 5.6 percent), Qatar (down 55.1 percent) and Egypt (down 14.2 percent). However, United Arab Emirates and Kuwait posted gains of 36.7 percent and six percent respectively.
According to the October statistics, total arrivals for the past 10 months of the year increased by six percent to reach 1,125,995 compared to the 1,062,033 in the same period of last year.
After years of double-digit growth in tourism, the Maldives has over the recent years observed a slowdown in growth. The government has set an ambitious target of attracting 1.5 million tourists by the end of this year, but the country has been struggling to create demand amidst a significant increase in bed capacity.
However, the latest figures are a welcome sign for the Maldives tourism industry, which is the main economic activity in the island nation, as the nation prepares for the peak tourist season.
Several international airlines are increasing flight frequency to the island nation to cater to the increasing demand.
December to April is considered the peak tourist season, as these months constitute summers in Maldives. Between December and April, the islands boast of dry weather, making it ideal for tourists to travel and enjoy the tropical environment.
Resorts across the archipelago organise special activities for the festive season, which falls during the peak tourist season. Popular resorts such as Baros Maldives, Amilla Fushi and Finolhu Maldives, Soneva Fushi, The St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, Mirihi Island Resort, Niyama Private Islands Maldives, Kandima Maldives, Jumeirah Vittaveli, Lily Beach Resort and Spa, and Kurumba Maldives have announced their festive programmes for this year.
Atmosphere Core expands in South Asia with Atmosphere Living ultra-luxury residences
Atmosphere Core, a globally renowned name in hospitality, has announced the launch of Atmosphere Living as part of its continued expansion in South Asia. Headquartered in India, this new company will offer branded ultra-luxury residences with customised end-to-end amenities and indulgences, including coffee lounges, wine cellars, private transport, and bespoke concierge services.
The global branded residences market has experienced a remarkable 150 percent growth over the past decade, and projections indicate a surge in demand. With the real estate veteran Sandeep Ahuja at the helm as Managing Director, Atmosphere Living is strategically positioned to capitaliSe on this demand.
Atmosphere Living will focus on a conscious design philosophy. All properties will be built in harmony with the environment and will incorporate features such as smart recycling, efficient waste and water management, and green energy solutions.
Sharing his insights on the launch, Salil Panigrahi, Managing Director, Atmosphere Core, said, “Atmosphere Living will bring a distinctive offering to India, and is a brand to watch out for. It will combine Ahuja’s decades of experience, knowledge, and industry network in real estate with Atmosphere’s hospitality expertise, introducing unparalleled serviced residences in India.”
Positioned in major metropolitan areas, established second-home destinations, and undiscovered scenic locales nationwide, these projects will also present lucrative investment opportunities. Elite homeowners will have the option to lease their residences back to Atmosphere Living, allowing them to be rented out for income generation.
Sandeep Ahuja, Managing Director, Atmosphere Living, said, “There is currently a gap in the Indian realty landscape for ultra-indulgent serviced homes catering to affluent consumers. We aim to bridge this gap by curating serviced homes that offer indulgences such as entering homes using smart key cards, 24/7 butler services, fine dining, and co-working spaces, among others. Our ultimate desire is to enable our customers to experience a life of true luxury and exclusivity.”
A night of celestial wonders, luxury, and cosmic inspiration at Anantara Kihavah SKY Observatory by British astronaut Tim Peake
Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas celebrated a historic milestone with the exclusive visit of the renowned British astronaut, Tim Peake. On the evening of November 2, Astronaut Peake hosted an exclusive space talk at SKY Observatory, the finest overwater observatory in the Indian Ocean, housing the most powerful telescope in the Maldives.
Perched gracefully over the pristine Maldivian waters, SKY Observatory provided an idyllic setting for this extraordinary event, complemented by a stunning sunset. The exclusive gathering attracted a full house of eager guests to a delightful evening that seamlessly blended science, luxury, and natural beauty.
The evening commenced with a lovely cocktail reception, where guests were serenaded by the soulful tunes of a live saxophone band. Attendees savoured exquisite cocktails and canapés as they eagerly awaited Tim Peake’s presentation.
Tim Peake’s talk unveiled his personal journey, where he shared his path to becoming an astronaut and narrated the rigorous training that astronauts undergo. He provided insights into life in space, the daily challenges faced by astronauts, and the awe-inspiring experiences he encountered during his
historic mission. He also offered a glimpse into his exciting future projects, leaving the audience both inspired and spellbound.
Following Tim’s presentation, an interactive Q&A session allowed guests to engage directly with the British astronaut. The audience posed thoughtful questions, deepening their understanding of astronauts’ unique experiences and the intricacies of space exploration.
The event was further enriched by the presence of the resort’s three SKY gurus, Hammadh Rasheed, Zunnoon Ahmed, and Ali Arushal, who conducted a stargazing session for the guests afterward.
The success of the event was evident in the overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees, who left with a deeper appreciation for space exploration and a memorable evening to cherish.
The evening marked a significant moment in Anantara Kihavah’s history, showcasing the resort’s commitment to offering unique and memorable experiences for its guests. The presence of Tim Peake, a celebrated astronaut and highly accomplished author, added an extraordinary dimension to the resort’s already spectacular offerings.
Tim Peake is a renowned British astronaut who made history as the first official British astronaut to visit the International Space Station (ISS) and conduct a spacewalk during his six-month mission. He also achieved the remarkable feat of running the London Marathon from space. Beyond his extraordinary space endeavours, Tim is also a bestselling author with his most recent book Space: A thrilling human history published earlier this month.
An astronomer’s paradise, Baa Atoll in the Maldives, is one of the best places on earth to enjoy stargazing due to its proximity to the equator. Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas promises a voyage of discovery on a private Indian Ocean Island, with Sky—an overwater observatory and luxury cocktail bar—providing guests a chance to sip champagne under the stars and explore the Universe.
Visit Maldives website adds atolls segment to showcase diverse regions
Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation’s (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) has added a new segment to the official Visit Maldives Website specified for atolls showcasing the diversity of the Maldives.
The segment, now live at atolls.visitmaldives.com provides in depth information regarding the different regions of the Maldives, divided by atolls, to refine the traveller’s experience, commencing with an in-depth exploration of Addu Atoll and Fuvahmulah Atoll.
With 26 atolls, the Maldives offers a wide array of unique accommodations and awe-inspiring travel experiences, and this informative section of our website will serve as a gateway to discover the hidden treasures unique to each area. This falls under MMPRC’s initiatives to encourage tourism growth in all regions of the Maldives, broadening exposure to the diverse tourism products available in the Maldives.
The goal is to elevate Visit Maldives’ digital marketing landscape by showcasing the Maldives as more than just a honeymoon destination with various accommodation options. This initiative is driven by a desire to increase awareness about the distinctive offerings within each of the Maldives’ atolls. It aims to positively shape their perception of the Sunny Side of Life brand by curating engaging content that highlights the unique features of the atolls and diverse experiences available in the islands.
Additionally, the initiative will target the affordable luxury market to promote the Maldives as the most appealing option for short holidays and weekend getaways under a unified Maldives brand umbrella.
MMPRC aims to continue exploring other atolls in the Maldives as well, encouraging growth and tourism development in all regions of the Maldives, building on the foundation we have created to promote the destination beyond the traditional paradigms of sun, sand, and sea.
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