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2021 tourist arrivals exceed 200,000: Ministry

06 March 2021, MVT 09:43
Tourists, wearing masks, pictured upon arrival at Velana International Airport. FILE PHOTO/MIHAARU
06 March 2021, MVT 09:43

The Ministry of Tourism revealed that a total of 200,871 tourists arrived in Maldives as of March 4.

The figure represents a fall of 140,818 percent compared to records from the same period in 2020. During the previous year, authorities recorded 341,689 tourist arrivals in the aforementioned period.

Overall, India accounts for the highest number of arrivals with a figure of 46,541 tourist arrivals, followed by Russia with 42,417 arrivals. Ukraine and Kazakhastan also recorded 13,350 and 8,537.

At present, 148 resorts and 364 guesthouses are known to be fully operational in Maldives.

According to the tourism ministry, Maldives aims to attract 1.5 million tourists in 2021. In order to reach the goal, the country must either maintain an average of 4000 arrivals daily throughout the year or experience a significant influx during foreign holiday periods.

The ministry has further expressed expectations of breaking the records set by the Maldivian tourism industry in 2019, provided that the government's vaccination programme successfully inoculates all citizens and residents.

Maldives recorded only 555,000 incoming tourists in 2020, a stark difference compared to the 1.7 million travellers that holidayed across the archipelago in 2019.

Like many other countries around the world, with the local emergence of COVID19 infections, Maldives closed its borders in March 2020, effectively brining the tourism industry to a standstil.

However, after reopening gates and easing restrictions in the following July, the island nation managed to attract 172, 366 tourists before 2020 drew to an end

On average, Maldives recorded 3000 arrivals per day after the country opened up for travel, peaking at 4200 per day during December.

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