Maldives posts highest Q1 occupancy level in four years

Maldives posted the highest occupancy level for a Q1 since 2014 thanks to the highest Q1 demand increase in the destination since 2010, data compiled by leading global market research and analysis firm STR has shown.

According to STR’s Asia/Pacific hotel performance report for Q1 2018, occupancy in the Maldives during the January-March period stood at 76.7 percent — an year-over-year increase of 7.6 percent. This represents the highest absolute occupancy level for a Q1 in Maldives since 2014 thanks to the highest Q1 demand increase in the country (10.6 percent growth) since 2010, it said.

“According to the Ministry of Tourism, tourist arrivals to Maldives increased 17.0% from Q1 2017. Europeans represented the largest share of arrivals (56.8%) and most growth (+23.2%) compared with other world regions,” the report read.

STR data also showed that Average Daily Rate (ADR) in the Maldives increased by 1.6 percent to MVR 12,569.93 (USD 815.10) in Q1, while Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) in the destination also recorded a 9.4 percent growth to reach MVR 9,637.91 (USD 624.97) during the first three months of the year.

The findings come as the world-famous holiday destination struggles to match an increased bed capacity.

Over the past five years, dozens of uninhabited islands have been leased to local and foreign resort developers. Several international brands have entered into the market, increasing the number of resorts to 120. That number is set to increase as the government has announced the opening of some 24 new resorts by the end of this year.

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 500 guesthouses in operation today.

Government has come under fire from private organisations representing industry stakeholders such as the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) over the lack of effort and budget to promote the Maldives as a destination.

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.

According to official figures, total arrivals for the first three months of the year increased by 17 percent to reach 420,103 compared to the 359,053 in the same period of last year.

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