For the first time since the border reopening after the long period of closure due to the ongoing pandemic, Maldives maintained the number of daily tourist arrivals above 1,000 in November.
According to statistics released by the Ministry of Tourism on Monday, the number of daily arrivals had steadily increased since the border opening. During November, an average of 1,100 tourists visited per day.
The largest post-pandemic number was recorded last Saturday, with over 2,200 tourist arrivals alone.
Although a huge improvement from the numbers recorded right after the border reopening on July 15, it is still a significantly lower value compared to the pre-pandemic figures of over 4,200 daily arrivals.
Most of the latest arrivals consisted of Russian tourists, taking up 22 percent of total market with over 16,200 arrivals within the past four months.
India comes second, with 8,600 tourists making up 12 percent of the total arrivals, followed by the United Kingdom at third place taking up 7.3 percent with 5,300 arrivals.
Despite China having controlled the COVID-19 spread for months, Maldives has yet to record Chinese visitors. However, the populous Asian country was the biggest source market for the island nation prior to the pandemic.
According to experts, the increasing influx of tourists are a good sign, although some of the major source markets of Maldives in Europe and Asia are severely affected by COVID-19.
Some resorts also added that Maldivian tourism will “brighten” with the upcoming New Year celebrations.
Maldives reopened its borders to international passengers on July 15, after nearly four months since the state halted issuing on-arrival visas on March 27. Guesthouses were permitted to resume operations and kick start local tourism on October 15.
Although Maldives has noted a significant reduction in tourist arrivals compared to pre-COVID figures, the numbers have maintained a steady upward slope indicating a stable increase, but the country has a long way to go before pre-pandemic figures are achieved.
However, the Minister of Tourism earlier expressed hopes for the industry's recovery, estimating that 100,000 tourists would visit Maldives before the end of 2020. The tourism ministry expects a total of 500,000 arrivals for the year.