Tourist arrivals in the Maldives continue to increase, with Velana International Airport (VIA) seeing more movement gradually.
While the island nation reopened its borders after nearly four months on July 15, there was a record number of arrivals at VIA on Sunday.
As such, VIA’s terminal operations’ general manager Ibrahim Hussain said that a total of 871 passengers landed on Sunday while 809 passengers departed the country. 851 people arrived last Sunday.
The VIA official said that most arrivals are seen on Fridays and Sundays.
While over 330 tourists are to have arrived via Russian airlines Aeroflot, Hussain said that the resumption of flights of this airline has seen a rise in tourist arrivals.
Noting that more airlines are to resume flights to the country in the near future, he said that Switzerland’s Edelweiss Airlines started direct flights to the Maldives on Sunday; they are to operate flights twice a week.
As per statistics, six domestic flights landed at VIA on Sunday; 153 left through VIA while 122 people arrived in the capital region.
While the tourist arrivals has not been as high as predicted since border reopening, newly appointed Tourism Minister, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom recently said that the number is expected to reach 120,000 by December.
Maldives welcomed a record breaking 1.7 million tourist arrivals in 2019, and a two million target was made for 2020. However, following the pandemic, this was reduced to 850,000 and now to about 120,000 visitors.