609,105 tourist arrivals recorded for first six months of 2015, reports Tourism Ministry
The Maldives Ministry of Tourism has reported 609,105 tourists to have visited the Maldives this year up till the end of June. This is a 1.3% increase compared to the 601,513 tourist arrivals recorded for the same duration last year.
The ministry has also noted a decrease of 2.2% when comparing the tourist arrivals of June 2015 with June 2014. June 2015 saw 81,506 tourists arriving in the country while 83,347 tourists were reported to have visited the country in June 2014.
According to the ministry, this plunge is due to the decreased number of arrivals from some areas of Europe and countries of the Middle East. Arrivals from both Russia and the Ukraine fell steeply due to the ongoing conflict between the two nations, while arrivals from Middle Eastern countries dropped due to June coinciding with the month of Ramadan.
June 2015 also saw an improvement in arrivals from some major tourist markets for the Maldives such as Italy, UK and China. Tourist arrivals from Italy increased by 12.5% compared to June 2014, while arrivals from the UK increased by 9.4% and arrivals from China increased by 6.6%.
The Asia Pacific represents the major sourcing region of tourist arrivals to the Maldives during the first six months of 2015, with visitors from the region accounting for 47.5% of total tourist arrivals for the duration. Compared to arrivals from the Asia Pacific region during the same period last year, this is a surge of 3.5%. Europe is the second largest sourcing region for the duration with visitors from Europe amounting to 44.9% of total tourist arrivals for the period. However, when compared to the same duration last year, arrivals from Europe have fallen by 2.3%. USA is the third largest sourcing region for the duration making up 3.8% of total tourist arrivals for the period, and depicting an improvement of 14.6% compared to the same period last year.
When separate markets are taken into consideration, with a total of 178,114 visitors, the majority of tourist arrivals to the Maldives during the first six months of 2015 was from China. China is followed by Germany with 51,861 arrivals, UK with 46,741 arrivals, and Italy with 35,854 and France with 26,193.
According to the ministry, resorts, hotels, guesthouses and safaris in the Maldives have operated an average of 27,694 beds during the first six months of 2015 with total bed nights of 3,563,847 for the duration. The occupancy rate stood at 53%, while the average duration of stay was 5.3 days.