Indian becomes the top source market for tourist arrivals in Maldives


Indian becomes the top source market for tourist arrivals in Maldives

India has emerged as the top source market for Maldives with visitors from the country surpassing visitors from other countries. Maldives’ Minister of tourism, Dr Abdulla Mausoom explained how post lockdown, Indian tourist arrival in the island country was higher than Russia, which was earlier the key market.

Indian tourists account for over 23 per cent tourist arrivals in Maldives with 44,039 Indian visitors as of February this year as compared to 40,698 visitors from Russia. Mausoom, on a visit to India told ToI that Maldives expects bigger tourist numbers from India for the coming year and plans to pitch the island nation as a lucrative investment destination. Tourism minister expects 1.5 million tourist arrivals in the year ahead and hopes for 10 million bed nights at hotels and accommodations across the islands.

Thanking PM Modi for the support extended to the country from providing the vaccine to establishing a tourism bubble allowing for visits between the two countries, Mausoom said Maldives’ economy received a big boost due to Indian tourists and government support.

Indian becomes the top source market for tourist arrivals in Maldives

From opening 28 new islands to be developed for tourism, increasing the number of flights, enhancing the airport’s capacity to cater to more rush and inviting people to invest in the country, the minister said the country would woo the India market aggressively.

Going forward, Maldives also plans to do away with RT PCR test for visitors who have a double dose vaccination certificate, come up with a longer tourist visa, promote real estate tourism that encourages people to buy a house and set Maldives as the base. As of now, confirmed booking with the tourism establishment registered with the ministry of tourism and a Covid negative report is a must.

Among the packages on offer for the year ahead, the minister expects ‘ ‘vaccination breaks’ to be a big draw with tourists across the world. “We plan to introduce a package named 3Vs – visit, vaccination and vacation. Like last year, this will allow people to spend longer time in Maldives while also getting the vaccine shots,” he explained.

Maldives has had one of the most interesting last year. A country that has virtually no domestic economy and depends on tourism was brought to a standstill due to lockdowns around the world to prevent the spread of Covid19. From looking at building on tourism numbers of 2019 to a complete washout, it was a difficult time for the island nation.

Maldives decided to reopen itself for tourism by following all the prescribed WHO norms. And from no arrivals to being one of the most visited nations in the world, 2020 saw a complete turnaround.

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