Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed announced on Sunday that the new target for Maldivian tourism is two million arrivals within a year, following the achievement of the previous target of 1.5 million tourists.
Speaking at the ceremony held to celebrate reaching this year's target, Minister Ali Waheed declared that this was a huge accomplishment and announced that the government will attempt to achieve the two million target within the next two years.
The current administration aims to bring 2.5 million tourists to the country annually before President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's tenure ends.
"This does not mean that Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the ministry failed if we do not reach two million by December 31 next year. There is no pressure".
Ali Waheed stated that the government aimed to reach the target in 2021. Noting that many activities and events were held to promote Maldives during this year, the minister added that similar events would take place next year as well.
Managing Director of MMPRC Thoyyib Mohamed stated that peace and prosperity in Maldives was paramount to increase the number of tourists visiting the country each year, adding that every situation that evokes conflict affects the tourism sector negatively.
Thoyyib assured that MMPRC will work tirelessly to achieve the goals set by the government.
"I will say this year was very successful. I am very pleased because we have worked satisfactorily. Most of what we have done will be reflected next year", he said.
Russian national Marina Kazakova was the 1.5 millionth tourist to visit Maldives in 2019. A special event was held at Velana International Airpot (VIA) to welcome her into the country.