The year 2019 was a remarkable one in the history of the Maldives’ tourism, with a ground-breaking record of 1.7 million tourist arrivals to the country. 2020 started off with more diversified and aggressive marketing strategies to break this record and reach a target of 2 million tourist arrivals by the end of the year.
However, due to the ongoing global pandemic, the Maldives had to close its borders on 27 March 2020. After almost four months of border closure, the tourism industry reopened on 15 July, with enhanced precautionary measures against COVID-19. A safe tourism guideline was issued by the Ministry of Tourism. Resorts and Liveaboards resumed operations on this date, whereas guesthouses resumed operations on 15 October. As of 14 December, guesthouses and hotels in the greater Male’ region are also scheduled to reopen.
Since the reopening, there has been a gradual increase in tourist arrivals with the establishment of travel bubbles between the Maldives and other countries, as well as greater connectivity in terms of flight operations. Over 18 airlines are currently travelling to and from the Maldives, from all around the globe.
On 6 December, the Maldives broke the record of daily arrivals since its reopening, with a total of 3,006 tourists arriving in the Indian Ocean destination, with air traffic movement on this date at 352.
The minister of tourism, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, said: “Surpassing the milestone of 100,000 tourists in advance of the projections is really encouraging. This achievement is the outcome of a unified #MaldivesApproach to a global challenge. This is the result of HEP Solih’s courageous decision to open the Maldives’ borders with a whole government, whole travel and tourism industry and whole community approach, to ensure this vital industry was set in motion with a strong focus on safety with the minimum possible inconvenience to tourists.”
During a grand event held on 12 December at Velana International Airport, the 100,000th tourist was identified by the Ministry of Tourism, together with Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), Maldives Immigration and Maldives Airports Company (MACL). The 100,000th tourist, Jasmin Burki, arrived from Switzerland via Emirates.