Growth and development of tourism sector in Q3 2018

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Overview of Q3 2018

The third quarter of 2018 saw positive growth since the month of July, which saw a spike of 8.1% in arrivals. The tourist arrivals continued to increase during August, recording a total of 123,992 for the month. However, by September the arrivals had slowed down to a total of 107,620.

The overall arrivals to the Maldives during the quarter increased to reach a total of 1,080,459 in total during the period and registered a tourist arrival growth of 8.3% by the end of September.

The third quarter of 2018 also marked new developments with regards to tourist outlets. During the period three new resorts opened with its operations. These include; The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort in Baa Atoll, Joali Muravandhoo in Raa Atoll and the Movenpick Resort Kuredhivaru Maldives in Noonu Atoll, with a combined bed capacity of 182.

During the same period, the guesthouse venture saw a greater boom with 18 new outlets opening for service with a combined bed capacity of 266. However, only one new vessel came into operation during the period.

By the end of the third quarter of 2018, the registered tourist establishments in the Maldives rose to 800 with a total bed capacity of 43,356. The establishments include 129 resorts with a total bed capacity of 29,130 and 11 hotels with a bed capacity of 1,725 and 484 guesthouses with a combined bed capacity of 7,890 and 145 registered safari vessels with 2,715 beds.

Likewise, during the period, the total bed nights from all these tourist facilities amounted to 6,914,428 which marks a significant 11.8% growth.

The occupancy rate during the third quarter of 2018 based on tourist accommodation from all operational facilities reached 61.3%. As for the average occupancy rate, last year’s first quarter fared best with 74.6% occupancy on average, while the third quarter observed an average occupancy of 56.9% whereas the lowest was observed during the second quarter with an average of 52.4%.

The average guest-stay duration during the third quarter was at 6.4%.

Tourist Arrivals

The Maldivian tourism industry has been experiencing growth in tourist arrivals month by month and recorded a total of 107,620 by the end of September 2018 for the month which is an 8.3% growth compared to figures of 2017.

In 2018 the first quarter fared the well with the greatest number of arrivals observed during the first three months while during April and May the frequency dropped and slowly started to pick up once again during July.

As for the third quarter, the number of arrivals was recorded at 122,332 for July, 123,992 for August and in September 107,620. The overall arrival count for the third quarter yielded a better performance compared to second quarter figures.

Looking at the arrival destinations, Europe maintained its dominance as the top marketplace, region wise whereas the second most prominent region Asia and Pacific posted mixed performances but still managed to place in second.

Tourist Market – Regions

By the end of September 2018, and mostly through the third quarter, Europe reigned as the dominant market regional wise with a share of 47.8% which translates to a total of 516,487 tourists visited the Maldives by the end of the month.

This marked a 14.8% increase compared to the same period of 2017.

Asia and Pacific region remained at the second spot much like most other cases, with a total market share of 42.8% with a total of 462,828 tourists visited from the region by end of September with a hike in arrivals by 2.1%.

The other regions included the Americas with a 4.5% share by end of September making the region with the third most leading market and the Middle East enjoyed a 3.8% share with a growth of 1.8% by end of September while Africa had just a 1.0% share while the overall market grew by 2.4% with regards to arrivals.

Top Ten Tourist Markets – Countries

Based on arrivals from January until the end of September 2018, China remained as the top single destination with the highest tourist contribution to the Maldives. By the end of the third quarter, the total arrival from China reached 222,108 which is a 20.6% market share. However, since 2015 onwards the arrivals from China have been gradually slipping and recorded a 6.2% slip by the end of September.

The United Kingdom came in second with a 7.7% market share, and the arrivals recorded by the end of September reached 83,311 and marked a growth of 10.3% with regards to arrival numbers.

Germany, another European destination came in third by the end of the third quarter with total arrivals reaching 80,250 and a market contribution of 7.4%. Italy placed fourth with a market share of 6.8% while the market growth observed an upward movement of 18.9% and the total arrivals amounted to 73,920.

Over the past few years, the Indian market has been doing considerably well and a positive growth of 1.1% was observed while holding a 5.2% market share. A total of 56,319 arrivals from the country was recorded as of September 2018.

Russia followed closely behind India with a market share of 4.7% and a total arrival of 51,082 by September’s end. The market also was the third best performer with regards to growth rate, which increased by 20.3% based on the arrivals.

France registered a market growth of 21.8% while came in seventh with tourist market contribution as it the market share was recorded at 3.4% while the total arrivals reached 36,970.

Japan came in the eighth spot with arrivals recorded at 30,465 and a market share of 2.8%. This market had shown a modest growth of 3.1%.

The USA is regarded as a growing market for the Maldivian tourism and that too at a fast rate. The market showed significantly positive results of growth which was recorded at 10.2% with over 30,000 tourist arrivals. The market share for the USA was the same as Japan, with 2.8%.

Australia holds the lowest market share with 2.6% however the tourist arrivals surged with a whopping increase of 39.4% and the Ministry of Tourism had registered a total of 27,778 arrivals by the end of September.

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