Maldives records hike in Chinese tourists after two-year hiatus
Maldives on Tuesday reported substantial growth in tourist arrivals, thanks to an uptick in arrivals from China, the first increase in almost two years of falling numbers from the destination’s biggest source market.
Official figures for the month of November released by the tourism ministry show that a total of 120,506 tourists visited the Maldives during the month — a 15.2 percent increase over the 104,572 tourists in November 2016.
Travel trends and demographics remain largely unchanged, as all source markets posted strong gains.
Europe, the largest regional source market which has been recovering after a period of falling growth, posted an overall growth of 17.1 percent over November 2016, as arrivals increased to 60,170 from 51,363. Almost all the important European markets such as the UK (up 18.7 percent), Germany (up 9.9 percent), France (24.9 percent) and Italy (up 40.3 percent) made strong gains last month.
Asia followed the same growth trajectory, as the Chinese market, which has observed major declines over the past two years, posted a stellar performance.
Arrivals from China increased by 11.8 percent to reach 21,195 last month compared to the 18,954 in November 2016. Taking into account the latest development, the year over year decline in arrivals from China over the past 11 months of the year has narrowed to seven percent from 8.2 at the end of October.
This positive development in the Chinese market comes a week after Maldives and Chinese leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation in tourism.
In a joint communique issued after Maldives President Abdulla Yameen’s state visit to China earlier this month, the Chinese government said it will continue to encourage Chinese citizens to travel to the Maldives and Chinese enterprises to invest in the tourism industry of Maldives. Assistance will also be provided to the Maldives in tourism promotion in China, it added.
Meanwhile, major contributors to Maldives tourism from South East Asia performed well in November, with arrivals from countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines increasing by 0.6 percent, 181.9 percent and 10.8 percent respectively.
However, arrivals from South Asia, which has become one of the fastest growing source markets, declined by one percent in November. This was largely due to falling numbers from Sri Lanka (down 15.8 percent) and a slowdown in growth in the Indian market.
Relatively new markets continued their upward growth trajectory last month as well, as arrivals from the Americas were up 36.9 percent, Oceania up 43 percent and Africa up 35.4 percent.
Arrivals from the US, which has recently secured a place amongst the top 10 contributors to the Maldives tourism industry, increased by 35.6 percent to reach 3,961 last month compared to the 2,921 in November 2016, while the number of visitors from Australia also increased by 43.4 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 89.5 percent in November.
The volatility in the Middle East market was once again evident in November, as visitor numbers decreased by 22.3 percent. This major decline is due to weak performance by almost every major Middle Eastern market, including Saudi Arabia (down 49.4 percent), Qatar (down 29.1 percent) and Kuwait (down 16 percent). However, United Arab Emirates and Egypt posted gains of 11.6 percent and 16.4 percent respectively.
According to the November statistics, total arrivals for the past 11 months of the year increased by 6.8 percent to reach 1,246,501 compared to the 1,166,605 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.
Along with the new resort openings come the challenge of increasing demand from budget travellers who choose guesthouses over luxury resorts that the Maldives is known for. The guesthouse sector has rapidly expanded with over 450 guesthouses in operation today.
The government has recently announced new steps to maintain a structured growth in tourism, including a slowdown in leasing islands for resort development and increased marketing efforts in key markets such as China and the Middle East in order to reach an ambitious target of a record 1.5 million tourist arrivals this year.
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 destination enters 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.
Main photo: Ibrahim Asad
TTM Travel Summit 2023 unveils exciting new concept with interactive, engaging workshops
Travel Trade Maldives (TTM) has introduce an elevated concept for the highly anticipated TTM Travel Summit 2023. Building upon 6 years of success, this year’s summit promises an immersive and engaging experience, focusing on interactive brainstorming sessions and workshops that will shape the industry’s future.
TTM Travel Summit 2023 boasts a dynamic lineup of sessions and workshops designed to encourage active participation from industry stakeholders. With keynote presentations by industry experts and collaborative brainstorming sessions, the summit will explore crucial topics essential for advancing the tourism sector in the Maldives.
Attendees can anticipate thought-provoking discussions on the future of aviation in the Maldives, exploring emerging trends and challenges that will significantly impact the travel industry. The evolving role of travel agents in the digital era will also take centre stage, emphasising the importance of adapting to changing landscapes and embracing new strategies.
Another significant focus of the summit will be marketing the Maldives to new markets, with experts sharing insights on diversifying tourism products. Furthermore, participants will gain valuable knowledge on media and content strategies for effective tourism promotion, unravelling the secrets behind captivating travel stories and engaging content.
TTM Travel Summit is an exclusive invitation-only event that brings together thought leaders, industry shapers, and senior decision-makers professionally engaged with Maldives tourism. By fostering collaboration and knowledge exchange, the summit aims to propel the industry forward and pave the way for a thriving future in travel.
Registration for the TTM Travel Summit will be open from 1st July onwards, and industry professionals are encouraged to secure their spot early to be part of this groundbreaking experience.
Taking place from August 22nd to 24th, 2023, TTM Maldives 2023 will feature TTM Connect Meetings during the first two days at Meeruma Conference Facility, followed by the TTM Travel Summit and the prestigious TTM Awards & Gala Night on the final day at CROSSROADS Maldives.
Visit Maldives collaborates with SQ to showcase Maldives with familiarisation trip for Chinese market
Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC/ Visit Maldives) concludes a familiarisation trip in collaboration with Singapore Airlines (SQ). The trip was held from 29th May to 4th June 2023. This familiarisation trip provided participants from the Chinese market with an immersive experience of the world-class Maldivian hospitality, focusing on affordable luxury and sustainability in the Sunny Side of Life.
The familiarisation trip commenced 31st May 2023, following the Visit Maldives Storytellers’ Conference 2023. It featured representatives from various publications and social media platforms, with a specific focus on the mass market. This trip generated extensive coverage that highlighted the unique geographical features of the Maldives and its one-island-one-resort concept, along with the exceptional experiences that have made the Maldives one of the world’s most sought-after holiday destinations.
With a estimated combined reach of 1,270,000, leading publications and platforms such as Travel+Leisure, City Traveller, Conde Nast Traveller 悦游, Voyage 新旅行, and 公众号:飞客 Flyer Tea provided coverage that reached a wide audience. During the trip, participants had the opportunity to engage with consumers on social media, share first-hand experiences of Maldivian hospitality through local life experiences, and promote the destination’s sustainability efforts. The trip showcased the range of unique experiences available in the Maldives, highlighting its position as a top destination and environmentally-friendly getaway. Through this trip, MMPRC aimed to not only reach a vast audience but also create a strong presence on various platforms and entice travellers to experience the unparalleled beauty and hospitality of the Maldives.
MMPRC aims to promote the Maldives as a safe and attractive destination for Chinese travellers through this activity. China has consistently been in the top 10 source markets for the Maldives in terms of arrivals pre-pandemic, and despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the market is showing promising signs of recovery. In the first quarter of 2023, 17,691 Chinese tourists visited the Maldives, and the Maldives aims to leverage its presence on various platforms to gain a competitive advantage over other destinations.
This familiarisation trip with Singapore Airlines is part of a broader marketing strategy that includes ongoing PR activities, social media promotions, joint campaigns with leading travel agencies, and more. MMPRC is dedicated to enhancing destination presence in the Chinese market and capitalising on the growing interest in travel opportunities post-pandemic.
Perspective and Maldives Promotion House announce strategic partnership and appointment of Ali Naafiz as editor of Hotelier Maldives
Perspective Pvt Ltd is pleased to announce the appointment of Ali Naafiz as the Editor of Hotelier Maldives, following the strategic partnership with Maldives Promotion House Pvt Ltd, publisher of Maldives Insider. This collaboration marks an important milestone in the travel media landscape of the Maldives, as it brings together two prominent entities with a shared vision for excellence and growth.
The partnership between Perspective Pvt Ltd and Maldives Promotion House Pvt Ltd will facilitate a seamless integration of resources and expertise, leveraging their collective experience in publishing, media, and management, amounting to almost three decades. This union sets the stage for innovative growth and synergy, enabling the companies to deliver even greater value to their readership and partners.
Ali Naafiz brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his new role as the Editor of Hotelier Maldives. With his extensive experience in the media industry, he is poised to lead the publication towards new horizons of success and recognition. Ali Naafiz’s deep understanding of the Maldives’ hospitality sector will be instrumental in providing insightful and impactful content, further solidifying Hotelier Maldives’ position as the premier source of information for the industry. Ali Naafiz will also retain his roles at Maldives Insider and Next Media Group.
In addition to this exciting appointment, Perspective Pvt Ltd is thrilled to announce that the annual GM Forum hosted by Hotelier Maldives will undergo a significant revamp. This strategic decision reflects Perspective Pvt Ltd’s commitment to continuously evolve and innovate its product portfolio to cater to the evolving needs and demands of the industry. The revamped GM Forum will provide a platform for industry leaders, professionals, and stakeholders to engage in meaningful discussions and collaborate on shaping the future of the Maldives’ hospitality landscape.
Perspective Pvt Ltd and Maldives Promotion House Pvt Ltd, are excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. We remain steadfast in our dedication to delivering exceptional value to our esteemed readership and partners, while striving for continuous improvement and innovation.
For media inquiries or more information, please contact:
About Perspective Pvt. Ltd.
Perspective Pvt. Ltd. is the publisher of Hotelier Maldives, the premier hospitality magazine in the Maldives. Dedicated to providing an exceptional platform for industry professionals to connect, share insights, and discover new opportunities, Hotelier Maldives is a trusted source of information and inspiration for the vibrant hospitality community.
About Maldives Promotion House Pvt. Ltd.
Maldives Promotion House Pvt. Ltd. is the publisher of Maldives Insider, a leading travel platform exclusively dedicated to showcasing the beauty and wonders of the Maldives. With a passion for excellence and an unwavering commitment to promoting the Maldivian tourism industry, Maldives Promotion House provides insightful information and engaging content to its global audience.
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