Following the lockdown in 2020, many people around the globe assumed that the pandemic brought an end to the tourism industry. As borders closed and people went into quarantine mode for almost two years, the fear remained consistent for a lot of popular tourist destinations as they wondered how they would recover following the global pandemic, and whether the industry would ever go back to the way it was before.
While the same fears applied to the Maldives, a country where the economy largely depends on income from tourism, Maldives was one of the first destinations that opened its borders as early as July 2020. With this, visitors from all around the globe flooded the country, as the Maldives became a safe haven for anyone looking to get a glimpse of a more normal ‘outside world’. Even with this, people still remained skeptical about how the country’s economy would recover from the downturn of the pandemic.
And now, almost three years after the pandemic, the fears are gone and the Maldivian tourism industry appears to be doing better. By the end of 2022, it became evident that the Maldivian tourism industry was picking up, better than ever following the pandemic as the country welcomed over 1.6 million tourists at the end of 2022. While this was a major accomplishment for the country, especially only a year after the lockdown was lifted for most nations, the arrivals really picked up for the Maldives in 2023.
In the first few months of 2023, especially during January and February, the tourist arrivals for the Maldives were extremely positive, leaving the country’s Tourism Ministry hopeful about reaching the 2 million milestone for the year 2023. In May 2023, however, there was a decline in the arrival rates, as the off-season hit the Maldives as the monsoon season is not popular among visitors travelling to the country. Even with this, the arrivals for this time period in 2022 were marked at 66,938 while this year the arrivals are at 62,816.
Though May showed a decline in tourist arrivals, the total arrival numbers for the Maldives is proving to be positive as the annual total as of 10 June 2023 is at 846,674. This means the country is extremely close to hitting the million mark!
As of June 2023, the top arrival market for the Maldives remains very similar to last year with arrivals from India taking the top spot with 99,922 visitors, Russia following close with 99,356 visitors and the UK at a close third with 75,472 visitors as at 10 June 2023. China is at sixth place so far.
Maldives has a total 60,818 operational bed capacity as at 10 June 2023, with 68 percent of them in the resorts, and 24 percent in guesthouses.