Maldives targets two mln tourist arrivals in 2020
Maldives government on Sunday announced an ambitious target of attracting at least two million tourists to the popular Indian Ocean holiday destination in 2020.
Tourism minister Ali Waheed told attendees of a special ceremony held at the main Velana International Airport Sunday morning to welcome the 1.5 millionth tourist of the year that new and improved efforts would be made to achieve the target of two million tourist arrivals next year.
“This is an ambitious target, but anything can be achieved with hard work. We will work hard to achieve this target as well,” he said.
Maldives on Sunday welcomed the 1.5 millionth tourist of the year, reaching the destination’s target for tourist arrivals this year.
The minister attributed this year’s success to joint efforts by his ministry, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and industry stakeholders. The political stability in the country also played a major role in achieving the target, he said.
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 new government aims to attract 2.5 million tourist arrivals per year by the end of its first five-year term in 2023.
To achieve this target, 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 — up from the MVR 104.2 million (USD 6.7 million) in 2019, and MVR 34.73 million (USD 2.2 million) each in 2018 and 2017.
The parliament is currently reviewing the budget.
The 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.