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Maldives records total of 555, 399 tourist arrivals in 2020

03 January 2021, MVT 16:35
Aerial shot of a small sppedboat7 approaching a sandbank, located in Male Atoll. PHOTO: HAWWA AMAANY ABDULLA / THE EDITION
03 January 2021, MVT 16:35

The government, on Sunday, revealed that across the year 2020, a total of 555,399 tourists had arrived in Maldives.

Over the first three days of January 2021, the country welcomed a further 6165 tourists from countries such as (listed in order of current market share) Russia, Ukraine, India, the United Kingdom, Kazakistan, France, Slovakia, United States of America, Austria, Germany and several others.

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 the year’s 500,000th tourist.

By year-end, the industry well-exceeded targets set to support tourism recovery as well as the numbers projected for 2020.

Across the month of December, Maldives recorded 93,823 incoming visitors, marking the highest number of tourist arrivals within a month for 2021. Statistics for November end at less than half the number with 35,000 arrivals in total, marking a sharp intake for the following month.

Overall, figures from throughout the year place India as serving the largest percentage of tourists headed to the archipelago from any single country, with a recorded total of over 62,000 Indian holidaymakers. A vast amount of A-listers from Bollywood, India's affluent film industry, were spotted flocking to their tropical neighbour's equally famous beaches to rejuvenate and escape lockdown woes.

The next most impressive amount of arrivals were attributed to Russia and the United Kingdom, at 61,388 and 52,716 respectively.

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.

Although Maldives 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 the country and other nations, as well as greater connectivity in terms of flight operations.

At present, over 20 airlines are managing flights to and from Maldives.

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

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