Despite the ongoing challenges from the Russia-Ukraine war, Maldives' tourism sector remains resilient in the third quarter of this year, statistics published by the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) has revealed.
Maldives' central bank confirmed that tourist arrivals increased by 5 percent in the third quarter compared to the same period in 2021, reaching a quarterly total of 377,409.
However, tourist arrivals remain 3 percent below the pre-pandemic numbers of the third quarter of 2019. The numbers indicate a further drop when compared to the second quarter of this year, mainly due to a slowdown in arrivals from the Indian market.
After Russia's flag carrier Aeroflot resumed flights to the Maldives, daily average arrivals from Russia picked up to 678 average arrivals per day in September 2022, from an average of 511 arrivals per day in June 2022.
The Russian market accounted for 16 percent of total market share during the third quarter, an increase of 8 percent from the second quarter of 2022. Despite a noticeable improvement, the number of Russian tourists has decreased since the war; in the first two months of this year, the average tourist arrivals from Russia stood at 736 per day.
While the average bed nights observed an annual growth of 13 percent, the average stay dropped to 8.2 days in the third quarter of this year from an average of 8.9 days in the corresponding period of last year. Bed nights rose by 19 percent compared to the pre-pandemic numbers.
According to MMA's statistics, Europe accounted for 59 percent of total tourist arrivals this quarter, while the Asian market accounted for 27 percent.
During the review quarter, Russia was the largest source market with a 16 percent share of quarterly arrivals, India followed in second with 13 percent while UK held 9 percent of the arrivals share.
Meanwhile, international flight movements data confirmed the number of movements rose by 7 percent during the review quarter when compared with the corresponding period of 2021.