A forecast at the tourist arrivals to Maldives in 2019


Source: Avas.mv

The tourist arrival to Maldives has been observing a steady growth in 2019 with regards to the year-to-date figures.

In January of the current year, the island nation observed a total visitor count at 151,552 which is 6.5% increase from the same month of 2018 where a total of 142,351 visited the country. Similarly, in February the visitor count reached 168,583 and marked a 16.8% growth compared to the same month in 2018.

However, in March the holidaymakers visiting to Maldives decreased slightly compared to February. The visitor count in March 2019 reached 162,843. This primarily was due to the culmination of the winter season which ran from 20 December 2018 until March 2019.

Maldives attracts large number of tourists from the European and Eurasian region during the winter season – most of whom are visiting the tropical island nation to experience the warmth instead of the cold and icy winters which they usually observe.

From April onwards the holidaymakers visiting the country usually slides until June and from July onwards the traveler count picks up again. Maldives usually experiences a tourist low-season from April until June every year.

During this period the guest occupancy rate at almost all local hospitality venues drop as well.

Although the tourist count is expected to fall in the current month compared to March arrivals, and continue the trend until June, it is widely expected that with the increase of tourist outlets and facilities as well as new international commercial airlines establishing direct flight routes to Maldives – such as Air France, Air Italy and Alitalia – the holidaymakers visiting Maldives may observe comparative growth in numbers against the same period of last year.

Just a few days back Air Italy announced its 2019/20 winter network which includes Maldives as well, and under their new operations the airline will have regular flights thrice on a weekly basis. So it is expected the visitors from Italy and countries neighboring it will bring more holidaymakers through the airline.

The Tourism Ministry of Maldives informs that the total number of tourists visiting Maldives by the end of March 2019 had reached 482,978 which marks a 15% growth compared to the same period in 2019. So, the tourism industry of the country maybe expecting the trend to continue throughout the year.

With regards to key tourist markets to Maldives, China though being the dominating venue to contribute with the highest number of arrivals to the country, has been slowly decreasing on the month-to-month figure on arrivals.

The country currently is observing a below moderate growth rate at 5.6% and based on the trend so far, it may appear that tourists visiting from the country may decline slightly over the coming months.

As mentioned earlier, Italy may continue to show growth in arrivals since the country had the second largest market share at 10.9% during the month of March while the market growth showed a significant improvement at 27.4%.

In the coming months, the arrivals from India may continue to grow since the country showed the highest market growth at a staggering 85.5%. This increase may be apparent over the strengthening ties bilateral ties between the two countries as well as focused destination promotion aimed at Indian markets.

As usual European countries will be major contributors to the Maldivian tourism market since the region has always been the dominant market share region.

With the bed capacity increasing to 46,981 which is an 11.7% growth during the current year, the country will be able to accommodate comparatively a greater number of visitors on a simultaneous basis. Therefore, it will not be surprising if the final visitor count for the entire year surpass the mark of previous years.

In addition to this, the Maldivian tourism organizations such as Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) as well as the state-based Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) participating in key international exhibitions to promote Maldivian tourism will act as a catalyst in attracting higher number of tourists.

These tourism promotion acts have already participated in several key international exhibitions like the WITM and the VITM, including a tourism exhibition at Saudi Arabia – which would help in the growth of tourists arriving from Middle-Eastern region as well.