Top 10 Source Markets as Maldives Welcomes One Millionth Tourist

Luxury travel destination, the Maldives, welcomed its one millionth tourist of the year on August 12, despite the challenges faced due to the COVID-19 pandemic and recent geopolitical conflicts.

The one millionth tourist for 2022 is a Czech Republic national named Daniela Kilnarova, aged 29. She visited the island nation for a holiday at Robinson Club Noonu Resort in Northern Noonu Atoll. Velana International Airport held a special event to welcome the one millionth tourist, and Daniela was presented with a special gift from the Ministry of Tourism, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and Maldives Airports Company Ltd (MACL).

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Speaking at the ceremony, Minister of State for Tourism Ahmed Solih expressed his hopes that the government will achieve the target of 1.6 million tourist arrivals set for November 2022. He further added that “the target of one million tourist arrivals had been achieved during the same period in 2019. This shows the efforts made to develop the industry,”

Arrivals for this year, as of 31st July 2022, place India as the top source market to the Maldives with 136,828 visitors, followed closely by the United Kingdom with 109,926 visitors. Other top markets include Russia, with 101,409 visitors, Germany, with 76,224 visitors, and Italy with 53,588. The remainder of the top 10 source markets so far this year comprises the United States, France, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Spain, in that order.

India has maintained number one spot on the list since the onset of the pandemic, especially as China closed their borders for international travel. As of today, Chinese borders still remain closed. Due to the close proximity of the between India and Maldives, as well as ease of travel, more and more Indian tourists have been vacationing in the island nation, including popular celebrities. Based on current statistics and trends, India is a promising market that may continue to dominate at the top of Maldivian source markets.

The second top market this year, the UK market, has been a top source market for the Maldives since 2020. According to MMRPC, the corporation conducted seven high-level campaigns in the UK including joint campaigns with media organisations, airlines, and leading tourism firms. In addition to a familiarization trip, MMPRC was also a sponsor of the British National Film Awards.

Russia took the third spot on the list with over 100,000 arrivals. As a long-standing dream destination amongst Russians, the Maldives conducted 10 campaigns this year to maintain Russia’s position as a top source market. The campaigns included social media marketing campaigns, workshops, and joint campaigns as well as Moscow Dive Show and LTM Moscow.

Germany, in fourth place, has been steadily growing as a rewarding market for the Maldives throughout the past years. MMPRC conducted 8 activities for the German market so far this year. Alongside a familiarisation trip, MMPRC conducted several successful joint campaigns with leading publications. Connoisseur Circle, a leading luxury publication in Germany, awarded the Maldives with the title ‘Best Luxury Destination of The Year’.

The Italian market, one of the traditional top source markets to the Maldives, has returned this year to take the fifth spot on the list. The first tourist visitors to the Maldives in 1972 were a group from Italy. Since then, the market has held strong for 50 years, with the potential to hold its position as a top market in the Maldives in the years to come. 8 activities, including E-learning programs, joint marketing campaigns with major tour operators in the market, and a campaign with Green Me aimed at utilising the emerging trend of sustainable travel, was conducted in Italy to increase arrivals, and Maldives also took part in BIT Milan this year.

According to MMPRC, 260 different marketing activities were carried out last year in 22 global markets, including fairs, roadshows, familiarisation trips, marketing campaigns, webinars, and interviews. The greatest testament to the success of these activities came late last year, as the Maldives secured the title of ‘World’s Leading Destination’ (among several other accolades) at the 2021 World Travel Awards, globally recognised as the hallmark of industry excellence. This is the second consecutive year that the Maldives had successfully earned this prestigious title, a shining testimony of the trust placed in the ‘magic of Maldivian hospitality’ by travellers from all over the globe.

Featured Images: Velana International Airport (VIA)