Maldives tourism ministry confirms healthy growth in tourist figures despite the island nation's tourism currently experiencing its 'off season.'
Though government authorities confirm the local tourism is booming, several are skeptical about the actual 'health' of the industry.
Maldives tourism experiences its off season from April til May usually; and sees a considerable drop in guest arrivals during these months every year.
Based on the statistical figures dating back to 2012, it indicated the total number of tourists who visited Maldives during off season reached 63,534. However a bump of 25% in tourist figures during off season was registered the following 2013, with holidaymaker figure reaching 79,426.
The tourist arrival figure during off season had increased once again in 2014, reaching 91,296 which is another 14.9% increase. Although not as much of a significant bump as the year, the following 2015 indicated an arrival of 95,389 tourists during off season marking a 4.5% jump.
However the winning streak maxed out at 2015 with a declining trend replacing it by 2016, which had continued since.
The total number of tourists who visited Maldives during off season in 2016 slipped to 93,228 which marks a 2.3 drop from the previous year's figures. Though the figure increased last year, it was barely significant with just a 0.3% jump which from 2016's figure. Off season visits reached 93,491 in 2017.
However reports indicate the guest arrival during the off season of current year had once again slipped though the actual figures have yet to be published by tourism ministry.
The factors that mainly contributed towards the receding tourist arrival figures include political tension and unrest in Maldives, especially in the most recent years. Additionally the abrupt state of emergency proclamation earlier in 2018 had heavily hit on local tourism with several tourist outlets; especially the guesthouse industry, registering massive booking cancellations.