Tourist arrivals decline in May 2023

The total arrivals recorded for May 1-15 is at 62,816 compared to 66,938 same period last year. This is a negative growth (decline) of 6.2 percent annually.

The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented global crisis which sent shockwaves through economies around the world leaving no sector untouched. However, among the hardest hit were the economies which heavily relied on the tourism industry as their main source of income. For such nations, the sudden halt in travel due to the borders closing for international travel along with the strict restrictions that were placed caused a severe blow to the economic stability and prospects.

While this was true for a majority of tourism-focused economies, the Maldives, one of the most popular tourism destinations in world, handled the COVID-19 pandemic extremely well, leading to the country’s tourism industry taking off before most countries. With measures being placed in order to be cautious, the Maldives opened up their borders as early as July 2020, making the country one of the only tourist hotspots within that year as visitors did not have an abundance of choices and people were desperate for the beachy heaven that the Maldives provides. 

With this, the Maldivian tourism industry started doing exceptionally well, and many expected the hype to die down after other countries opened up their borders for international travel. While it may be too early to predict whether or not growth forecasts of 2023 can be achieved or not; the arrival numbers for May 2023 so far shows signs of decline in arrival numbers compared to 2022. 

The total arrivals recorded for May 1-15 is at 62,816 compared to 66,938 same period last year. This is a negative growth (decline) of 6.2 percent annually. However, the first four months of the year all recorded positive arrival growth, with 751,101 total arrivals as at 15 May this year. This is a 16.7 percent growth compared to last year. 

The top markets this year have been Russia, India, UK and Italy. China has also climbed to 6th place, only few months after resuming of direct flights between China and Maldives. 

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