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Maldives celebrates millionth tourist arrival

Mohamed Rehan
17 July 2023, MVT 09:52
In 2023, Russian national Anton Pavlov became the one millionth tourist arrival to the Maldives-- Photo: MMPRC
Mohamed Rehan
17 July 2023, MVT 09:52

Maldives achieves its one millionth tourist arrival target on Sunday early noon with the arrival of Russia’s Anton Pavlov.

Pavlov was welcomed at Velana International Airport (VIA) on July 16, by an entourage led by Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom and top officials of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).

Last year, the Maldives achieved its one millionth arrival target in August.

The annual total tourist arrivals recorded in 2022 stood at 1.6 million. The Ministry of Tourism had initially set a target of 1.8 million tourist arrivals for this year. However, with the resumption of the Chinese tourist market earlier in 2023, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih revised the target to 1.9 million arrivals.

Minister Mausoom said that while the government and tourist industry stakeholders aimed to reach the millionth arrival by the first week of July, there was a mild delay in achieving the target. He however, said that tourist influx will improve significantly in the following months.

The Minister was hopeful that the Maldives will reach President Solih’s arrival target for this year.

"Tourist arrivals are expected to see significant improvement in the next five months, and we anticipate that China will secure one of the top three positions as a source market for the Maldives this year," Minister Mausoom said.

China is currently the fourth strongest source market to the Maldives with over 74,000 tourist arrivals from the country so far in 2023.

Top Three Tourist Source Markets in 2023

1. India: 115,800

2. Russia: 115,300

3. United Kingdom: 84,000

Since the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, tourist arrivals have observed year-on-year improvement. As such, tourist arrivals in 2021 stood at 1.3 million, which increased to 1.6 million in 2022.

Meanwhile, Minister Mausoom expressed confidence in a five percent increase in tourist arrivals for 2024, projecting that the annual tourist arrivals for next year will reach two million.

While the Ministry is currently drawing up tourism targets for the next year, the Minister said that the most significant change to the industry will be observed in 2025 upon the opening of the new passenger terminal in Velana International Airport (VIA).

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