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Tourist arrivals spike in March despite emergency

Fathmath Shaahunaz
18 April 2018, MVT 10:42
A group of tourists pictured outside the Republic Square in Male. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED/MIHAARU
Fathmath Shaahunaz
18 April 2018, MVT 10:42

The Maldives recorded an unexpected increase in tourist arrivals in March this year, despite the 45-day state of emergency that lasted the majority of the previous month.

The state of emergency, which was declared on February 5, was lifted on March 22. Despite the emergency, official statistics of the Ministry of Tourism show that tourist arrivals were at 133,466 that month, which was a spike of 18.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

The highest number of tourists hailed from Germany with 14,692 visitors in March, which marked the first time in recent history for a country other than China to dominate the archipelago's tourism market.

The visitors from China in March totaled 13,203, which was a decrease of 27.5 percent compared to the same period in 2017. Notably, China had issued a travel advisory cautioning its citizens about travels to the Maldives due to the state of emergency.

The third highest number of visitors were from Italy with 13,198 tourists, which was an increase of 33 percent compared to last year.

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