Tourism Minister: Tourist arrivals from China will begin to increase in Jan

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

The Chinese market will fully open up and tourist arrivals from the market will begin to increase in late January, with the Chinese New Year holidays, states Maldivian Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom.

Chinese ambassador Wang Lixin recently stated that direct flights between Maldives and China were expected to resume after a two-year halt in October.

Mausoom told Sun it was great news to the entire Maldivian tourism industry.

“All industry stakeholders are very happy. And on the other hand, Chinese tourists are eager to visit Maldives,” he said.

Mausoom said they had expected some tourist arrivals from China in the last quarter of this year.

Mausoom said that even if direct flights resumed in October, arrivals weren’t expected to increase until late January, with the Chinese New Year.

The Chinese New Year begins January 22. It is one the biggest holidays in China.

China had been the top source market for tourist arrivals to Maldives before it halted direct flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 267,875 Chinese tourists visited Maldives in 2019, making for 17.5 percent of the record 1.7 billion tourist arrivals to the island destination that year.