Maldives expands market as tourism recovery continues

The Maldives is looking to promote travel to people with disabilities and other niche traveler segments while continuing to rebuild tourism.

Speaking at a press conference this week which coincided with the UNWTO World Summit on Community Tourism and the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of Tourism in the Maldives, Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom said “We are expanding our markets and not just relying on our traditional sources. .”

Deputy Tourism Minister Naushad Mohamed said the Maldives will facilitate travel for people with disabilities and promote business events, sports tourism and cultural tourism.

The destination has lost its main source market, China, due to the pandemic. China accounted for 16.7% of arrivals to the Maldives in 2019, or 284,029 travellers, but between January and March 2022 there were only 971 Chinese visitors.

Since reopening to international travelers in July 2020, the Maldives has become one of today’s top tourist destinations. The average length of stay for visitors to the Maldives has fallen from 7.5 nights before Covid to 8.5 nights.

Despite the Ukrainian invasion, Russian travelers have been numerous for the Maldives, recording 52,235 arrivals in January-March 2022 against 26,284 for the same period in 2019.

Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director/CEO of the state-owned Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, also said the UK and Italy are doing well, bringing 50,584 and 52,848 travelers to the destination respectively in January- March 2022. For the same period in 2019, the two markets recorded 36,116 and 30,036 attendances respectively.

“We are doing well compared to other (destinations),” Abdulla said, adding that the government is aiming for 1.4-1.6 million arrivals this year, more than the record arrivals of 2019. of 1.48 million.

To achieve this ambition, the Maldives will increase business travel arrivals, facilitate travel for people with disabilities, as well as promote business events, sports tourism, cultural tourism, Deputy Tourism Minister Naushad shared. Mohammad.

According to Ahmed Nazeer, Secretary General of the Tourism Industry Association of the Maldives, resorts in the destination strive to accommodate corporate groups of 30 or more people.

“While the Maldives is seen as a vacation destination, there is a market for business travel and event engagements,” he noted.

The recovery of tourism in the Maldives is supported by a continuous flow of new products. Some 23 resorts are in various stages of development and will soon join new, recently opened properties.

Velana International Airport opened a new VIP/CIP complex earlier this year as part of the facility’s US$800 million expansion program, which will add a new runway, passenger terminal, terminal seaplanes, a 45 million liter fuel park and a cargo facility when the project is completed later this year.

Comments are closed.