More than 118,000 tourists have been welcomed so far in March.
This was revealed by the Ministry of Tourism in its latest daily statistics, publicized on Tuesday.
Since the new year began, Maldives has welcomed a total of 468,751 visitors. This includes 172,499 tourists welcomed during January and 177,914 tourists welcomed in the following month.
Between March 1 – 20, Maldives welcomed 118,337 tourists at Velana International Airport (VIA). The arrival figure for the ongoing month is 17.09 percent higher than the 100,350 arrivals recorded in the same period last year and much higher than the 66,918 arrivals recorded in the same period of 2021.
According to the ministry, this year’s arrival figure is an increase of 23 percent from the 381,126 arrivals recorded in the same period last year, and a significant increase from the 255,903 arrivals recorded in 2021.
So far this month, the highest daily arrivals was recorded on March 4, when more than 7,300 visitors were welcomed.
The daily average for this year is at 6,627 and tourists are staying in the Maldives for an average of eight days.
Looking at the daily arrivals for March 2023 according to the most recent daily statistics publicized by the ministry:
- 6,125 tourists were welcomed on March 1
- 6,019 tourists were welcomed on March 2
- 5,345 tourists were welcomed on March 3
- 7,381 tourists were welcomed on March 4
- 6,900 tourists were welcomed on March 5
- 5,712 tourists were welcomed on March 6
- 5,944 tourists were welcomed on March 7
- 5,664 tourists were welcomed on March 8
- 5,388 tourists were welcomed on March 9
- 5,308 tourists were welcomed on March 10
- 6,871 tourists were welcomed on March 11
- 6,270 tourists were welcomed on March 12
- 5,477 tourists were welcomed on March 13
- 5,608 tourists were welcomed on March 14
- 5,634 tourists were welcomed on March 15
- 5,553 tourists were welcomed on March 16
- 4,982 tourists were welcomed on March 17
- 6,676 tourists were welcomed on March 18
- 6,615 tourists were welcomed on March 19
- 4,865 tourists were welcomed on March 20
The statistics go on to reveal that Russia has topped the source market for the archipelago nation’s tourism, contributing 12.4 percent of the market share with 57,938 arrivals recorded from the country by March 20.
Although the country ranked third since the beginning of the year, India has climbed up to the second position contributing 10.8 percent with 50,479 arrivals. 2022 ended with the neighboring country as the top source market for Maldives tourism.
Coming in third is the United Kingdom contributing 9.3 percent with 43,566 arrivals.
Other top tourism markets so far in 2023 are:
- Italy contributing 9.1 percent with 42,480 arrivals
- Germany contributing 6.9 percent with 32,274 arrivals
- France contributing 4.4 percent with 20,704 arrivals
- United States contributing 4.1 percent with 19,314 arrivals
- China contributing 3.1 percent with 14,608 arrivals
- Switzerland contributing 2.3 percent with 10,987 arrivals
- Poland contributing 1.8 percent with 8,612 arrivals
Although Kazakhstan and South Korea were among the top source markets of Maldives tourism by the end of January, the two countries have been knocked off the list.
Statistics go on to reveal that 1,229 tourist accommodation establishments are currently in operation including 169 resorts, 13 hotels, 894 guesthouses and 153 liveaboard vessels.
A total of 60,382 beds are in operation at these facilities, including 41,141 in resorts, 1,640 in hotels, 14,642 in guesthouses and 2,959 in liveaboard vessels.
The archipelago nation welcomed its first tourist visitor of the new year with a special ceremony held at Velana International Airport (VIA) for Nikolai Stratichuk from Russia.
Due to the numerous safety precautions implemented in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, alongside border closure, 2020 was a sluggish year for Maldives tourism. However, tourist arrivals began to bounce back with the easing of travel restrictions as well as safety measures against Covid-19 in 2021.
During 2020, Maldives recorded 555,494 tourist arrivals, which was a drastic plunge from the previous year’s 1,702,887 arrivals. Maldives met its tourist arrival target for 2021 in late December and welcomed a total of 1,321,932 tourists by the end of the year.
In 2022, Maldives welcomed 1,675,285 tourists. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in his presidential address on 3 February 2022, revealed that Maldives aimed to welcome 1.6 million tourists in 2022. The island nation reached its target with the combined efforts of relevant government agencies, the private sector, and industry stakeholders. The golden jubilee year of tourism held a record of milestones related to the tourism sector. As such, Maldives was crowned the World’s Leading Destination three times in a row last year.
Minister of Tourism, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom noted that this quick rebound of Maldives tourism to pre-pandemic level is a clear indication of the visionary leadership of President Solih, sound tourism policies and the strong partnership between the government and the private sector.
In his presidential address this year, delivered at the People’s Majlis on 6 February 2023, President Solih stated that the Maldives will be welcoming 3.5 million tourists, annually, by 2028.
Describing the past three years as the most challenging years the Maldivian economy has faced, he noted that the Covid-19 pandemic brought a complete halt to the Maldivian economy.
Highlighting that the Maldives will be welcoming 3.5 million tourists annually by 2028, President Solih stated that this will be the result of all the commenced, ongoing, and completed developmental projects of the administration.
Tourism was introduced in the Maldives in 1972. It has been 50 years since zealous travelers have been visiting the Maldives which has been drawing in visitors with its picturesque beauty for years.