Maldives has recorded a slight decline in tourist arrivals in October, as several key markets underperformed.
Official figures for the month of October released by the tourism ministry show that a total of 127,393 tourists visited the Maldives during the month — a 0.5 percent decrease over the 127,986 tourists in October 2017.
Growth in Europe, the largest regional source market, slowed down in October, as arrivals only increased by 1.5 percent to reach 62,962 from 62,018.
The UK, which is the single biggest European source market, made a gain of 8.9 percent, while several other major European markets such as Italy, France and Spain also posted gains of 15.6 percent, 18.1 percent and 29.6 percent respectively. However, arrivals from Germany, the second largest European source market, decreased by 10.9 percent, while the Swiss market also dipped by 7.1 percent.
Russian travellers continued to show their appetite for the Maldives, as arrival numbers jumped 5.7 percent in October to reach 5,800 from 5,485 in September 2017. This strong performance last month translated into an impressive growth of 18.6 percent in arrivals from Russia in the past 10 months of the year.
Arrivals from Asia, the second largest regional source market, decreased for the third consecutive month.
The Chinese market, which had for the past two months showed signs of recovery with a 2.9 percent gain last month, relapsed in October, as arrivals declined by 10.1 percent to reach 25,803 from 28,689 in October 2017. This weak performance widened the decline in arrivals from the Maldives’ single biggest source market for the January-October period to 6.6 percent.
Several major contributors to Maldives tourism from South East Asia, which have been posting strong gains over the past year, once again declined in October, with arrivals from countries such as Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Singapore decreasing by 22.8 percent, 7.6 percent, 2.9 percent and 16.6 percent respectively.
However, South Asia, which has become one of the fastest growing source markets, rebounded after major declines for three consecutive months. The 5.1 percent gain in the South Asian market in October is due to the positive growth in the Indian market, which posted a 6.6 percent growth.
Despite mixed performance in established markets, relatively new markets such as the Americas and Africa performed well in October.
Arrivals from the US, which last year secured a place amongst the top 10 contributors to the Maldives tourism industry, increased by 8.7 percent to reach 3,307 last month compared to the 3,043 in October 2017, while the number of visitors from Australia also increased by 59.1 percent. South Africa, which has been on the recovery, also posted an increase of 46.9 percent.
Middle East, which has proven to be a volatile market, recovered in October after major declines for the past three months. Arrivals from almost all major Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates posted negative growth of 41.8 percent, 10.8 percent, 21.9 percent, 175.5 percent and 26.7 percent respectively.
According to the October statistics, total arrivals for the past 10 months of the year increased by 7.3 percent to reach 1,207,852 compared to the 1,125,995 in the same period of last year.
Maldives had in September welcomed the one millionth visitor of 2018.
In addition to a new wave of recent political turmoil and presidential elections, the Maldives is currently experiencing the traditionally low season.
May to November is considered the low tourist season, as these months constitute rainy season in Maldives. Between May and November, the islands boast of wet weather, making it less ideal for tourists to travel and enjoy the tropical environment.
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 20 new resorts over the next two years.
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 last year 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.
Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) holds its 34th Annual General Meeting
The Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI) held its 34th Annual General Meeting at Kurumba Maldives today, with a total of 100 members in attendance.
The day’s events began with a welcome address from the Chairman of MATI, Mr. Mohamed Umar, who also presided over the session. The agenda included an address from the Secretary General, Mr. Ahmed Nazeer, the review and approval of the minutes of the 33rd AGM, the review and adoption of the Annual Report and Financial Reports for 2023, the approval of the 2024 budget, the appointment of auditors for 2024, the welcoming of new members and election of executive board members to the two vacant positions (by-election).
In the member discussion session, the following topics were covered: the Government’s aim to reach net-zero emissions by 2023 and renewable energy generation in the Tourism Industry, new terminal of Velana International Airport and developments, employment challenges, the Industrial Relations Act and trade unions, environmental conservation and the significance of creating and executing efficient management plans for protected areas like the South Ari Marine Protected Area (SAMPA).
Following the official proceedings, the Minister of Tourism Hon. Ibrahim Faisal and the Minister of Economic Development and Trade Hon. Mohamed Saeed joined the forum. The Ministers provided remarks and engaged in a Member Q&A session. This session provided members with the chance to directly engage with the Ministers and delve into crucial industry topics. The queries focused on the Economic Outlook, forthcoming development plans and immediate challenges and issues affecting the Tourism Industry.
A video presentation was also showcased that delved into the extensive work undertaken by MATI in 2023. The video also touched upon the Tourism Industry’s performance over the past 5 years, as well as the current and projected human resource capacity of the sector.
In his closing remarks, the Secretary General highlighted the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing industry challenges and called for greater unison amongst industry stakeholders, ending with an acknowledgement of the promising start to the year in terms of arrivals.
Executive Board Members elected to the 2 vacant positions (by-election):
- Ibrahim Shareef, CEO and Managing Director of Maldives Airports Company Limited
- Renato De Olivera, General Manager of The Ritz-Carlton Maldives, Fari Islands and representative of Marriott International
Unlocking power of travel storytelling at Travel Creators Exchange 2024
Join us for the Travel Creators Exchange 2024, taking place on February 1, 2024, at the Hotel Jen in Male’, Maldives.
This dynamic event provides a platform for networking and collaboration among Maldives-based travel creators, fostering connections, idea-sharing, and the establishment of lasting partnerships to expand opportunities and monetise content.
Our lineup of distinguished speakers includes:
- Zihuny Rasheed, Deputy Managing Director of MMPRC, will present on “Power of Digital Storytelling: Collaborative Strategies for Destination Promotion.” MMPRC actively markets the Maldives globally, utilising a comprehensive approach that includes travel trade shows, roadshows, digital marketing, and more.
- Amjad Thaufeeg, Commercial Director of Kuda Villingili Maldives Resort, brings over 23 years of hospitality industry experience. He will discuss “The Role of Content in Tourism Marketing,” drawing on expertise in revenue, customer service, sales & marketing, and human capital development.
- Suresh Dissanayake, Assistant Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Heritance Aarah & Adaaran Resorts, with nearly two decades of experience, will shed light on “What does a Sales and Marketing Director Do?” He brings extensive luxury hospitality experience and a proven track record in sales, distribution, and marketing.
- Vishal Amir Ahmed, a versatile cinematographer and content creator, will explore “Who is a Content Creator.” Currently associated with Various Arts Studio, he specialises in providing multimedia solutions to various clients.
Organised by Maldives Insider, Maldives Virtual Tour, Travel Trade Maldives, and Hotelier Maldives, this collaborative effort aims to empower Maldives-based travel content creators and elevate the Maldives as a premier destination for captivating travel storytelling.
Acclaimed contemporary artist Ana Pušica explores perpetuality and community at Patina Maldives
Ana Pušica Kramer, an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist, joins Patina Maldives for an exclusive art residency in the now infamous Fari Art Atelier. From January 22 to February 22, 2024, Ana Pušica will grace the shores of the Fari Islands, weaving a vibrant narrative of colour and emotion across her larger than-life canvases.
Her artistry transcends boundaries, melding abstraction and figuration into awe-inspiring masterpieces. Having exhibited globally, from New York to Beijing, Ana’s paintings are a physical, intuitive act rooted in movement. Described as a “beautiful fluorescent thunderstorm,” Ana’s art explores light and colour, capturing the energy of life itself.
The Fari Art Atelier which has previously hosted the likes of Daniel Arsham, Chris Stamp and David Nott, will be transformed into Ana’s studio and gallery showcasing her enthralling artworks—a mesmerising journey through poetry, memory, and the vibrant interplay of colour. Guests at Patina are invited to delve into Ana’s world, where each stroke reveals layers of meaning, evoking sensations of intense lightness and boundless interpretation.
At Patina Maldives, Ana will immerse herself in a month-long residency, inviting the Patina Malidves community or guests and team to witness her artistic fervour firsthand. Guests will have the rare opportunity not only to observe her creative process but also to engage with and create art alongside this luminary.
Experience artistry at its most exclusive
Experience Ana’s captivating exploration of colour and emotion in her spellbinding artworks displayed at the Fari Atelier.
Art Workshops: Message in a Bottle
As part of a collaborative artwork, Ana invites Patina guests to participate in short workshops, actively contributing to the creation of a permanent installation at Patina Maldives.
Open Studio Session
Join Ana for an exclusive open studio session, offering guests a behind the-scenes look at her creative process.
Ana Pušica residency package
Discover a world where creativity knows no bounds as Ana Pušica, the maestro of contemporary art, transforms Patina Maldives into an immersive canvas of inspiration.
Book now to secure your experience.
For more information and reservations, please visit Patina Maldives or contact
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