The Qatar World Cup in Qatar will benefit the Maldives' tourism, Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has said.
Speaking to AVAS, the tourism minister said this year's World Cup in Qatar would benefit Maldives' tourism and that he was hopeful a large number of players would visit the Maldives after the World Cup.
"Sports events like this have sometimes had a negative impact on tourism. But this time, we are hopeful that we will be on the receiving end of its benefits," he said.
Over the recent months, the number of tourists visiting the Maldives has increased. Compared to pre-pandemic numbers from May 2019, the current figures for the month of May have increased. The number of tourists that arrived in May this year was 125,000, while the number was 103,000 in May 2019.
The minister said May is always a low month in terms of tourist arrivals, but the current progress is a welcome and hopeful sign. He said it is good progress that tourists from some Asian markets and Japan are visiting the Maldives.
"With this change, the off-season of tourism is changing," Mausoom said.
The tourism minister said that although tourism has improved, there is a concern due to the current world situation, especially the closure of the Ukrainian market and the decline in tourists from Russia due to the Russia-Ukraine war.
"Although the Russian market has resumed operating flights, the market has not improved yet," he said.
Tourism record this month
According to the ministry, 680,846 tourists have visited the Maldives thus far this year. This is a 6.8 percent decrease compared to 730,753 tourists that visited the country during the same period in 2019. However, this is a 52.8 percent increase compared to 445,560 tourists that visited during the same period last year.
Arrivals from top ten tourism markets
India : 86,358
UK : 82,325
Russia : 62,545
Germany : 56,058
United States: 43,748
France : 27,488
Saudi Arabia: 13,854
Austria : 12,468
Currently, an average of 4,695 tourists arrive in the Maldives daily. Tourists stay in the Maldives for an average of three to eight days. Last year, 1.3 million tourists visited the Maldives. The government says 1.6 million tourists are expected to visit this year.