Maldives expects 1.5 mln tourist arrivals this year

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has stated that 1.5 million tourists are expected to visit the Maldives this year.

Answering lawmakers’ questions at the Parliament on Wednesday, Dr. Mausoom said the number of tourists that are expected to visit the Maldives this year has been revised once again in light of COVID-19 vaccination programs. The government had earlier estimated that one million tourists would visit the Maldives this year.

555,399 tourists visited the Maldives in 2020, an amount far below government expectations.

While a significant amount of tourists have visited the Maldives since the beginning of this year, the number still lingers behind previous estimates. The minister noted that the target number of tourists did not visit the Maldives due to the COVID-19 situation in Europe worsening over the past couple of months. While arrivals from the European market declined as a result, the introduction of vaccine programs are expected to improve the industry, said the minister.

“Based on the vaccination categories being followed in the Maldives, it is likely that the Maldives will become one of the first countries to get the opportunity to vaccinate its entire population. International media have already picked up on this. Maldives is, in its nature, one of the safest destinations. The vaccines will further complement this, and make the Maldives the most safest destination in the world. This is the message that our president has given to the world,” said Dr. Mausoom.

The minister said the ministry intends to keep a tally of the number of tourist arrivals by counting bed nights instead of counting number of tourists per head. The decision was made as tourism revenue is tied to the number of bed nights, said the minister. The minister expects 10 million bed nights this year.