'First six months of 2019 most successful for tourism since 2010'

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Company (MMPRC) has stated that Maldivian tourism has been most prosperous in the past six months in the last five years.

Speaking at a press conference held on Thursday, Managing Director of MMPRC Thoyyib Mohamed said the tourism industry witnessed a hike of 19% in tourist arrivals during the first six months of the year.

"This has been the most flourishing first six months of a year since 2010. An increase of 19% has been recorded in tourist arrivals from January to June this year", said Thoyyib.

Noting that the government aims to bring 1.5 million tourists to the Maldives by the end of the year, 1.1 million tourists have already visited Maldives thus far this year, said Thoyyib.

"We believe that we will reach this target in early November", Thoyyib said.

The statistics report publicized by the MMPRC show that out of European nations, the largest increase in the number of tourists visiting Maldives was recorded in the number of arrivals from Italy, Germany and the United Kingdom.

While tourists arriving from Italy increased by 37.7%, an increase of 19.7% was recorded in tourist arrivals from Germany. A 12.6% hike was recorded in tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom.

The rate of tourist arrivals from these three countries increase exponentially year by year, said Thoyyib.

"The increase of tourists from Italy is mainly because of their economy becoming stabilized, in addition to the appointment of a public relations representatives for the country. We owe it to the different PR strategies applied", said Thoyyib.

However, the most notable increase was noted in the Indian market, with tourist arrivals increasing by 100%. 82,140 Indian tourists have visited the Maldives thus far this year.

The market that brings the most tourists to Maldives is still the Chinese market, with 140,265 tourists having visited Maldives in the last six months.

Although Australian and American markets have not garnered much attention in the past, the two countries remain hopeful markets with the number of tourists visiting Maldives increasing progressively.

"We need to give more attention to these markets [Australian and American]. We have noticed a good development from these markets", Thoyyib stated.

MMPRC has participated in 15 tourism fairs held in 12 different countries this year. While 5 roadshows were organized in 13 countries, 11 familiarization trips were organized for foreign media personnel. 11 public relations officers were appointed, and 12 joint promotion ventures were conducted.

The corporation also conducted 2 global advertising events and 12 endorsement events, in addition to 6 networking trips and a guest house training. Maldives received 8 international awards thus far this year.