Maldives Celebrates an Increase in Chinese Tourist Arrivals, Emerging as the Leading Market

PUBLISHED February 05, 2024 | updated February 05, 2024 04:05

The recent visit by Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu to China, at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, has further solidified bilateral relations and endeavors to attract Chinese tourists.

From January to February 4, 2024, an impressive 23,900 tourists arrived from China, constituting 11% of all tourist arrivals in the Maldives. This surge is attributed to various factors, including improved flight connectivity and renewed initiatives to attract Chinese tourists.

The Ministry of Tourism reports that airlines are recognizing the growing demand, and contemplating additional direct flights between China and the Maldives. Presently, Beijing Capital Airlines, China Eastern, and Sichuan Airlines operate direct routes, contributing to the ease of travel.

China has emerged as the leading source of tourists for the Maldives, a notable shift revealed by statistics from the Ministry of Tourism. This contrasts with the previous year-end standings, where India held the top position, and China ranked third.

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 witnessed a 13% increase compared to the same period last year. In 2024, 214,000 tourists have visited the island nation, averaging 7,300 daily arrivals 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 appear achievable.

This upsurge in Chinese tourists signifies a significant development for the Maldivian tourism industry, underscoring the growing importance of the Chinese market and the nation's persistent efforts to diversify its tourism base.


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