Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) has stated that the commencement of direct flight from China after nearly three years marks a bright beginning in a new chapter in welcoming outbound tourists from China.
Thoyyib stated that during the special ceremony held at Velana International Airport (VIA), on Wednesday to welcome the first direct flight from China since 2020.
As such, Thoyyib said that MMPRC is extremely pleased to be welcoming flights from China to the Maldives again.
He went onto note that China had been a key source market for some years prior to the onset of the pandemic. Thoyyib stated that the country is looking forward to Chinese travelers topping the arrival charts again.
The Chinese market consistently topped the arrival charts to the Maldives prior to 2020, when the nation closed for approximately three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, China was the top source market with 284,029 arrivals, which was 16.7 percent of the year's total arrival fugure. This number fell greatly in 2020, to 6th place with 34,245 arrivals, and fell even further over the next two years.
The first direct flight from China, after nearly three years, arrived in Maldives on 18 January, 2022.
The first flight was from Beijing Daxing International Airport. The flight JD455, touched down at Velana International Airport with 198 tourists.
The visitors from China was welcomed with a special ceremony. As such, the tourists were greeted with traditional BoduBeru, and a special gift pack along with flowers.
The event organized by MMPRC joined by a high-level delegation, including Ministers, Ambassadors and other high-level executives from the Government of the Maldives and China.
Even during the most difficult times at the height of the global pandemic, MMPRC continued to conduct destination marketing activities for the China market. MMPRC conducted a total of 14 activities targeting the China market in 2020. In 2021, 08 activities targeting the Chinese market were conducted, with a total reach of 10.2 million in 2021. Furthermore, 05 activities were conducted in 2022, with a reach of 14.7 million in the Chinese market, to keep the destination on top of Chinese travelers minds when borders reopen.