MALE, The Maldives, 9 December 2020: The Maldives estimates it will close the year with around 500,000 visitors according to the Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom.
Raajje a TV and website news service quoted “an ecstatic” minister of tourism who tweeted figures that suggested 100,000 tourists would arrive in the Maldives over the period 15 July to 16 December, By the end of the year the figure for the year, including the months before the 27 March shutdown, could reach 500,000 visits. In 2019 the Maldives welcomed 1.7 million tourists and hoped to reach 2 million this year before Covid-19 closed the country.
He tweeted that the country’s tourism was “bouncing back” and praised the travel industry for its hard work that helped to revive tourism when the country reopened its border 15 July.
In his 4 December tweet, he noted that arrivals from Egypt increased by 40%, Kazakhstan by 24.4%, Russia by 5% and Brazil by 2.9%
The Maldives halted all tourist visits amid Covid-19 fears, on 27 March and three months later reopened the border 15 July. During the first month after the reopening, around 2,000 visitors entered the country. Ministry data shows arrivals following the reopening reached 79,627 by the start of December.
As of early December tourist arrivals for the entire year reached 462،474 prompting the minister’s optimism to forecast annual arrivals would hit 500,000 by the end of the month.