President Muizzu seeks to boost tourist arrivals from China, regain spot as top source market

Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu arrives in China on his first state visit on January 8, 2024. (Photo/President's Office)

President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu has appealed for increased efforts to have China reclaim its spot as the top source market for tourist arrivals to the Maldives.

He made the appeal in his address at the Invest Maldives Forum at the Fuzhou Strait International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Fuzhou, China, on Tuesday morning.

In his address, President Muizzu noted that China had been the top source market for tourist arrivals to the Maldives before the Covid-19 pandemic.

“China was our number one market pre-COVID, and it is my request that we intensify efforts for China to regain this position,” he said.

President Muizzu said his administration is focused on diversifying Maldives’ economic base and ensuring economic security, while continuing to strengthen and drive the tourism industry and boost visitor numbers.

"The government has plans to diversify the tourism product and offer new experiences. Initiatives include a top-tier school of hospitality and exploring sports, medical and cultural tourism,” he said.

President Muizzu said his administration’s development plan targets revolutionizing the Maldivian economy and doubling its GDP from the current USD 6 billion to USD 12 billion by 2028.

While China had dominated tourist arrivals to Maldives pre-pandemic, the top spot is currently claimed by India. Other top source markets include Russia, Germany and the UK.