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Maldives records 1,769 tourists arrivals in July

Mariyam Malsa
04 August 2020, MVT 08:58
Tourists arriving in Maldives following the reopening of borders. PHOTO: LUCAS JALEEL/TWITTER
Mariyam Malsa
04 August 2020, MVT 08:58

Maldives Immigration, on Monday, revealed that a total of 1,769 tourists arrived in the country during July, after the government reopened borders during the middle of the month.

Maldives lifted all restrictions imposed on international travel over the COVID-19 pandemic on July 15, with the first batch of tourists arriving aboard a Qatar Airways flight that landed at Velana International Airport.

According to Immigration, the highest number of incoming tourists were recorded from the United Kingdom (UK) with 258 arrivals, followed by the United States and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which account for 189 and 143 tourists respectively.

Tourists from Germany, Switzerland, Spain, France, Russia, Italy and Philippines also visited Maldives during the previous month.

Meanwhile, authorities have assured that adequate safety protocols are in place at VIA and that it is fully equipped to handle multiple flights landings per day.

Holidaymakers arriving in Maldives are required to observe social distancing measures and wear facemasks as per guidelines issued by the Health Protection Agency (HPA). While all passengers will undergo thermal screening, individuals with high temperatures, breathing difficulties or other symptoms will be referred to the airport clinic.

The Ministry of Tourism previously confirmed that by July, 42 resorts were prepared to welcome guests. Overall, authorities have stated that the majority of Maldives' 157 resorts are scheduled to resume operations before the end of the year.

Furthermore, the tourism ministry has expressed a target of attracting 900,000 tourists to Maldives during the remainder of 2020.

As with numerous countries around the world, in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Maldives closed its air and sea borders to tourist arrivals on March 27, halting the issuance of on-arrival visas.

The restrictions on international travel left Maldives' heavily tourism reliant economy in an extremely vulnerable state. In mid-April, the World Bank projected that Maldives would be the worst-hit economy in the South Asian region due to the pandemic.

Maldives estimates a shortfall of approximately USD 450 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in foreign currency and a state deficit of MVR 13 billion in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the tourism industry.

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