Maldives to achieve 1.5 mln visitor target by Nov end

Maldives will soon welcome the 1.5 millionth visitor of the year, achieving its target for 2019, the country’s official tourism promotion body announced Tuesday.

Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), told journalists that the goal of increasing the annual visitor number to 1.5 million by the end of 2019 is expected to be achieved by the last week of November.

“We will be achieving our target one month ahead. During the last week of this November, the 1.5 millionth visitor will set foot on Maldivian soil,” Thoyyib said, during a press conference held at MMPRC’s offices in capital Male.

Thoyyib attributed this success to new and existing efforts by his corporation and the industry to promote the Maldives’ tourism.

MMPRC had already carried out 113 out of the planned 135 activities for this year. The corporation expects to host another 30 over the coming weeks.

MMPRC took part in 17 international travel trade fairs in 2018 and some 20 this year. Other activities that had been carried out this year include:

  • Five roadshows in 13 markets
  • 17 media fam trips
  • 11 promotional activities carried out via worldwide PR agents
  • 12 joint promotional activities
  • a training programme for guesthouses

MMPRC had announced plans to participate in over 45 international travel trade fairs in 2020.

Maldives has welcomed over a million tourists this year, as the destination attempts to reach an ambitious target of 1.5 million visitors over the next month.

The one millionth visitor of the year arrived in the Maldives on August 2 — a month ahead of last year. In 2018, the one millionth mark was reached on September 9, whilst it was celebrated in October the previous year.

According to official figures, total arrivals for the past nine months of the year increased by 15.8 per cent to reach 1,251,690 compared to the 1,080,459 in the same period last year.

Maldives welcomed a record 1.4 million tourists in 2018. It was a 6.8 per cent increase from the 1,389,542 tourists that chose to holiday in the Maldives in 2017.

The government had revised its forecast for the number of tourists visiting the island nation this year, increasing the estimate to a record 1.6 million from 1.5 million.

Meanwhile, the government had proposed adding MVR 50 million (USD 3.23 million) to the annual marketing budget of the tourism ministry.

In the proposed state budget for 2020, the government had allocated MVR 154.2 million (USD 9.98 million) for tourism promotion.

A parliamentary select committee is currently reviewing the budget.

The new government, which came to power in 2018, pledged to ramp up tourism promotion.

Reflecting the new government’s pledge, the state budget for 2019 includes MVR 104,200,000 (USD 6.7 million) for tourism promotion, up from MVR 34,733,333 (USD 2.2 million) in 2018 and 2017.

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