Tourism Minister, Dr Abdulla Mausoom has said that China, to which Maldives opened borders earlier this year, will become Maldives' number one source market for tourism arrivals by the end of the year.
So far this year, 133,962 tourists have arrived from China. That is 10 percent of the total 1.3 million tourists.
As of July this year, 78,158 tourists visited Maldives from China. Since then, more than 50,000 tourists have come from the country in the past one and a half months alone.
Russia has the highest number of tourists so far this year. 152,967 tourists have visited from the country so far, or 11.7 percent of the total.
The second most tourists have visited from India, which is 144,041 tourists or 11 percent.
“China, which is only 1.5 percent behind Russia and 0.8 percent behind India, is fast approaching Maldives' number one tourist market,” Mausoom said.
He said if it goes at this rate, the Chinese market is expected to top the list before the end of the year.