Maldives Welcomes Surge in Chinese Tourists, Topping Arrivals
China has become the top source of tourists for the Maldives, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Tourism. This marks a significant shift, as India held the top spot at the end of last year, while China ranked third.
From January to February 4th, 2024, an impressive 23,900 tourists arrived from China, representing 11% of all tourist arrivals in the Maldives. This surge is attributed to several factors, including increased flight connectivity and renewed efforts to attract Chinese tourists.
The Ministry of Tourism reports that airlines are recognizing the growing demand and are considering launching more direct flights between China and the Maldives. Currently, Beijing Capital Airlines, China Eastern, and Sichuan Airlines operate direct routes, contributing to the ease of travel.
Last month’s visit by Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu to China, upon the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, further strengthened bilateral relations and efforts to attract Chinese tourists.
While India previously held the top spot, it currently ranks fifth with 16,000 arrivals. Russia follows China with 22,000 tourists, and Italy and the UK round out the top five with 21,000 and 18,000 arrivals, respectively.
Overall, tourist arrivals in the Maldives have seen a 13% increase compared to the same period last year. So far this year, 214,000 tourists have visited the island nation, with an average of 7,300 arriving daily in February.
Visit Maldives has set a target of attracting 2 million tourists this year, while the Ministry of Tourism aims even higher with a goal of 2.3 million. With China’s strong presence and the overall tourism boom, both targets seem achievable.
This surge in Chinese tourists marks a significant development for the Maldivian tourism industry, highlighting the growing importance of the Chinese market and the nation’s continued efforts to diversify its tourism base.