The Ministry of Tourism, on Monday, announced that 92,000 tourists graced Maldives shores over the month of January 2021.
Despite being 47 percent lower than tourist arrivals in 2020, given the ongoing status of the global COVID19 pandemic, ministry officials dub the numbers as optimistic, for the country’s heavily tourism-dependant economy.
In-kind with observations made last year, Russia leads the overall statistics with 22 percent of tourists, while India secures a close second, taking up 20 percent of the arrivals.
The year 2020 wrapped up with the country noting only 555,000 incoming tourists, a stark difference compared to the 1.7 million travellers that holidayed across the archipelago in 2019.
Like many other countries around the world, with the local emergence of COVID19 infections, Maldives closed its borders in March 2020. However, after reopening gates and easing restrictions in the following July, the island nation managed to attract 172, 366 tourists before 2020 drew to an end
On average, Maldives recorded 3000 arrivals per day after the country opened up for travel, peaking at 4200 per day during December.
According to the tourism ministry, the goal for 2021 remains to draw at least 1.5 million tourists to Maldives, for which the country must either maintain an average of 4000 arrivals daily throughout the year or experience a significant influx during (foreign) holiday periods.
During festive dates, such as Christmas and New Year, it is typical for the island nation to witness a marked increase in tourist numbers. For instance, close to Xmas last year, Maldives recorded (on certain days) nearly double the usual amount of arrivals.
At present, 144 resorts and 324 guesthouses are known to be fully operational in Maldives.
For Maldives, the new year opened on a positive note, with over 20,000 tourists arriving within the first week. With vaccinations commencing worldwide, numbers are expected to increase, say experts.