India becomes top emerging market for Maldivian tourism

File photo of a group of Middle Eastern tourists at the Velana International Airport. (File Photo/Sun)

Neighboring India has become the fastest developing market for Maldivian tourism with an 86 percent increase in tourist arrivals in the span of one year.

Statistics released by Ministry of Tourism tourist arrivals from India increased by 86 percent from Q2 of 2018 to Q1 of 2019.

The sharp increase places India fifth in the list of highest number of tourist arrivals to Maldives by country.

Other countries which contributed high tourist numbers include China, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and UK.

Statistics show 48,876 Indian tourists visited Maldives in Q1 of 2019. The number is a 95.3 percent increase compared to Q1 of 2018.

12,823 Indian tourists visited Maldives in April alone – a remarkable 129 percent increase compared to April of 2018.

The changes mean India now makes up for 7.6 percent of tourist arrivals to Maldives.

The quarterly economic bulletin released by central bank Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) also lists India as the fastest developing market in the Maldivian tourism industry.

The increase in tourist arrivals from India has increased tourist arrivals from Asia Pacific region by 16 percent.

The Chinese market, which is the single biggest contributor to tourist arrivals to Maldives by country, and showed signs of a slowdown at the end of 2018, improved in Q1 of 2019. Statistics show tourist arrivals from China increased by 6 percent in the quarter.

Total 646,092 tourists visited Maldives in Q1 of 2019 – a 19.7 percent improvement compared to Q1 of 2018.