Tourist arrivals from India and Russia see increase

The number of tourists visiting the Maldives from India and Russia has surpassed pre-COVID-19 numbers.

Statistics shared by the Tourism Ministry show that 166,030 tourists from India and 83,369 tourists from Russia visited the Maldives in 2019. However, these numbers increased this year, with the tourism-dependent archipelago seeing 172,911 tourists from India and 146,806 tourists from Russia by October 5 this year.

According to the Tourism Ministry, the number of UK and US tourists has also increased this year compared to 2019. Statistics show 126,199 tourists visited the Maldives from the UK in 2019, while 133,280 tourists have visited the country thus far this year. In 2019, 54,474 tourists visited from the United States, against 57,275 tourists that traveled to the Maldives this year.

The total number of tourists that have visited the Maldives this year has already surpassed the government's target of 1.2 million tourists. While 1.21 million tourists visited the Maldives by October 5 this year, the Maldives saw 1.27 million tourist arrivals during the same period in 2019.

One of the main reasons that the Maldives has been unable to surpass the 2019 figure for total tourist arrivals is the suspension of flights between China and the Maldives due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Before the suspension of air travel between China and the Maldives, the most number of tourists visited the country from China.

Direct flights between China and the Maldives are set to start this month, Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, Wang Lixin, said earlier.