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Number of Indian tourists will double by year end: Tourism Minister

Mariyam Malsa
23 July 2019, MVT 11:44
Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED
Mariyam Malsa
23 July 2019, MVT 11:44

Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed, on Monday, predicted that tourist arrivals from India would double by the conclusion of 2019.

Speaking at a press conference, Ali Waheed stated that Maldives' popularity as a tourist destination among Indians was due to its peaceful environment.

India was recently ranked the second country from which Maldives attracted the greatest number of tourists. A total of 82.140 Indian holidaymakers travelled to Maldives from January to June. In 2018, the number of tourists from India reached 90,474.

The minister stated that the internal situation in Maldives had calmed following the election of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih.

"In my opinion, unrest is not observable on Maldivian streets", stated the minister.

Minister Waheed also noted the strengthening of historic ties between the two nations and revealed that the Indian tourism minister was officially invited to visit Maldives.

Furthermore, Ali Waheed stated that while the tourism industry was improving, discussions were ongoing with the Indian government to host ceremonies such as the Filmfare Awards in Maldives. He expressed that such events would advertise the country further.

Minister Waheed also said that the right markets in India had to be targeted in order to increase tourist arrivals. For instance, he noted the importance of increasing the number of flights to Maldives from certain states of India.

The total 862,589 holidaymakers recorded so far constitute an 18.7 percent increase compared to the previous year. In June alone, 113,457 tourists visited Maldives, constituting a 21 percent increase in comparison to arrivals in June 2018.

While bed occupancy was at 66 percent from January to June, tourists spent an average of six days in Maldives.

With a total of 140,263 guests, the largest tourist market for Maldives in 2018 was China. The third greatest number of tourists were received from Italy, which accounted for 75,376 guest arrivals. Germany and the United Kingdom rank fourth and fifth respectively.

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