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Maldives reaches target, records 500,000 tourist arrivals

Mariyam Malsa
29 December 2020, MVT 15:28
Tourists arriving to Maldives at Velana International Airport (VIA). PHOTO: MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
29 December 2020, MVT 15:28

Authorities revealed that over 542, 000 tourists have arrived in Maldives since the beginning of 2020, exceeding the target of 500,000 arrivals set for the year.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, the number of tourists that travelled to Maldives after the country reopened borders in July has now reached 159,000.

Overall, figures from throughout the year indicate that Russia accounted for the largest percentage of tourist arrivals to Maldives from any single country, with a recorded total of over 46,000 Russian holidaymakers.

The island nation 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.

On December 12, Maldives recorded the arrival of the 100,000th tourist following the removal of travel restrictions. Five days after the milestone was reached, the government welcomed 500,000th tourist for the year 2020.

Although Maldives has noted a significant reduction in tourist arrivals compared to pre-COVID figures, there has been a gradual increase with the establishment of travel bubbles between Maldives and other countries, as well as greater connectivity in terms of flight operations. At present, over 18 airlines are managing flights to and from Maldives.

In December, thus far, Maldives has recorded 69,000 incoming tourists, marking the highest number of arrivals within a month for this year. Statistics for November indicate nearly half the number with 35,000 arrivals in total.

The government aims to attract a total of 1.2 million tourists to Maldives in 2021.

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