Russia regains top position as Maldives’ leading tourist market in 2023
As the seventh month of the year comes to a close, the Maldives has witnessed a resurgence in tourist arrivals from Russia, reclaiming its position as the top source market for the island nation. The Ministry of Tourism’s latest daily tourist arrival statistics, released on Sunday, revealed this notable shift in the tourist landscape.
India had initially held the top spot for tourist markets in the Maldives during the first half of the year. However, Russia managed to surpass India’s numbers in June, and this trend continued through July. As a result, Russia currently contributes 11.8 percent of the market share with a total of 121,354 arrivals recorded so far. India has now moved to the second spot with 119,857 arrivals, making up 11.6 percent of the total arrivals.
The United Kingdom secured the third position, accounting for 8.4 percent of tourist arrivals with a total of 86,731 visitors. Other countries that featured prominently in the top tourist markets for the Maldives in 2023 include China with 8.1 percent (83,810 arrivals), Germany with 6.9 percent (70,723 arrivals), and Italy with 6.5 percent (67,213 arrivals).
Further down the list, the United States accounted for 4.2 percent of tourist arrivals with 42,835 visitors, while France contributed 3.1 percent with 31,601 arrivals. Switzerland, Australia, and South Korea also made appearances among the top 10 markets, with Australia replacing South Korea in recent times.
Between July 1 and July 22, the Maldives has welcomed a total of 101,791 visitors, further cementing its status as a popular tourist destination. Since the beginning of the year, the archipelago nation has witnessed a significant influx of tourists, with a grand total of 1,031,398 arrivals.
Monthly figures reveal a consistently high number of arrivals, with the peak being in February when 177,915 tourists visited the Maldives. While there was a slight dip in May and June, with 120,959 and 120,363 arrivals, respectively, both months still exceeded 100,000 arrivals.
Comparing the current statistics to previous years, the growth in tourism is evident. July 2023 witnessed a 6.2 percent increase in arrivals compared to the same period in the previous year (95,838 arrivals). It is also a substantial improvement from the same period in 2021, which recorded 69,206 arrivals.
On average, the Maldives has been receiving 4,627 tourists daily during July, with visitors staying for an average of seven days. The Ministry of Tourism’s prediction of 4,300 daily arrivals in July has been comfortably exceeded.
Overall, the tourist arrival figure for 2023 reflects a 13.5 percent increase from the same period last year, and a remarkable growth of tourists compared to 2021, with 909,057 and 579,755 arrivals, respectively.
The statistics indicate that the Maldives continues to attract nearly 200,000 visitors on a monthly basis in 2023.
A significant milestone for the Maldives’ tourism industry was achieved on July 16 when the one-millionth tourist of the year arrived in the country. The honoured guest, Anton Pavlov, a Russian national residing in the United Kingdom, arrived with his spouse and toddler. Welcoming Pavlov at Velana International Airport (VIA), the immigration department presented him with the bronze ‘Aida’ tier of the world’s first destination loyalty program, the Maldives Border Miles. Expressing his joy, Pavlov shared his gratitude for the warm hospitality received and expressed excitement about experiencing the Maldives for the first time.