Tourist arrivals set to surpass record set in 2016

With the peak season beginning in December, tourist arrivals to the Maldives could surpass the record of 1,286,135 set in 2016. Tourist arrivals to the Maldives exceeded 1 million during October, reaching 1,125,995 visitors in 2017. As of October, Maldives recorded a 6 percent increase in tourist arrivals, compared to the January to October period in 2016, according to data from the Ministry of Tourism.

The number of Chinese holidaymakers continued to decline but was offset by the recovery of traditional European markets and double-digit growth from new markets like the United States, India and South Korea.

China remains the top supplier with a 23.6 percent market share but arrivals have declined by -8.2 percent compared to the same ten-month period last year. After rapid growth from 2010 onward, Chinese arrivals peaked in 2014 with about 364,000 visitors and have been steadily falling since 2015.

Europe took the lead by the end of 2017, securing 45.5 percent shares and a robust growth of 10.7 percent compared with that of 2016. Germany was the second largest market with 91,238 tourists as of October, up 4.1 percent from last year. Arrivals from the United Kingdom declined marginally by 0.6 percent to 84,679 tourists. Italian holidaymakers, the fourth largest market, increased by 22 percent to reach 67,094 arrivals in October. The United States was among the top new markets with 30,450 tourists representing an 18.3 percent increase from the previous year.

Among rising Asian markets was India with 63,141 tourists and Korea with 26,907 tourists, representing annual growth rates of 25.4 percent and 15.7 percent, respectively. The average of the overall occupancy rate of the industry, however, dropped to 63.4 percent from 60.3 percent from January to October period in 2016, reflecting the increase in bed capacity due to the opening of numerous new properties this year.