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Tourism Ministry: India rises to second in tourist arrivals

Ahmed Aiham
22 November 2020, MVT 17:45
File photo of tourists at Velana International Airport. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
22 November 2020, MVT 17:45

Ministry of Tourism, on November 19, revealed that India became the second-largest tourism market for Maldives.

According to the ministry, a total of 5,449 tourists arrived from India since Maldives reopened its borders to international passengers on July 15.

In comparison, 7,512 visitors arrived from Russia, making the country Maldives' top source market next to India and the United Kingdom.

The increased arrivals are particularly facilitated by the 'Air Bubble' between the two countries.

Established on August 25, the Air Bubble enables regular scheduled flights between Maldives and India, with both countries continuing to observe all relevant public health related measures against COVID-19.

At the time, Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid thanked the Indian government, noting that the Air Bubble will ease travel particularly for Maldivians visiting India for urgent medical treatment, as well as Indian tourists that wish to visit the island nation.

Despite the lifting of restrictions, Maldives has noted a significant reduction in tourist arrivals compared to pre-COVID figures.

However, Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom earlier expressed hopes for the industry's recovery, estimating that 100,000 tourists would visit Maldives between July 15 and the end of 2020. The number currently stands at 59,105 arrivals.

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