British tour operators see Maldives bookings surge after travel corridor
Travel firms in the United Kingdom have reported a surge in demand for the Maldives since the Indian Ocean tourist paradise was added to the British government’s travel corridors list.
Advantage Travel Partnership’s managed services division saw a 500 per cent increase in bookings to the Maldives against last year between Thursday, when the destination was the added to the UK’s travel corridor list, and Sunday.
“There is definitely pent-up demand from travellers and we are seeing a very late booking market because of the unpredictability of destinations being added and removed from the UK government’s quarantine list,” Advantage Travel Partnership’s Leisure Director Kelly Cookes told Travel Weekly.
“We hope that this positive step forward for the industry continues throughout the winter season with the addition of more countries deemed safe for travel.”
Icelolly.com also reported a 61 per cent week-on-week rise in searches for the Maldives.
Following last week’s announcement, Britons no longer need to self-isolate for 14 days when returning from the Maldives.
Britain’s decision to allow quarantine free travel to the Maldives came just over three months after the Maldives reopened its borders to visitors.
Meanwhile, travel firm Kuoni earlier revealed that travellers in the UK were planning to splash out on luxury Christmas overseas trips after settling for summer staycations, with demand for year-end getaways in Maldives on the arise.
Bookings for 2021 trips to the Maldives are also on the rise.
Recent Google search data has also shown the Maldives as the top holiday destination among Europeans for next year.
Meanwhile, British Airways has resumed its direct winter service to the Maldives.
The Maldives reopened its borders on July 15.
With the border reopening, 30-day free on-arrival visa is issued to all tourists with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.
There is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, but tourists have to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure.
Visitors with symptoms of the Covid-19 respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus or those travelling with someone who has similar symptoms are also tested at their own expense.
Note: The above article contains reporting by Travel Weekly.