The Ministry of Tourism has released tourist arrival stats for March 2017, showing a slight dip in the overall numbers in comparison to 2016. The data released by the Ministry revealed a 2.1% (2,466 tourists) reduction to the total tourist arrival numbers for March 2017 (112,665) as compared to March 2016 (115,131).
Europe continues to be the strongest contributor to tourist arrivals in the Maldives, dominating the numbers with 55% of the total arrivals in March 2017 with 61,927 tourists. This number, however, is 3.0% lower compared to the same month last year where arrivals were at 63,824.
Looking at the five top contributors to arrivals from Europe, Germany leads with 9.1% of the total arrivals. This is, however, a 23% decrease in comparison to March 2016. The United Kingdom also showed a decrease of 9.3%. However, Russia, another important European contributor showed a positive increase of 43.8%, as well as Italy with a 9.0% increase and France with an 8.2% increase in arrivals.
Asia and The Pacific
While Europe as a whole may be the largest contributor to arrivals, China has consistently been the individual country with highest arrivals for a number of years now, and they are still leading with a total of 16.2%. However, when comparing with the previous year, the number of Chinese tourists have declined by 16.3%, with 18,203 Chinese tourists arriving in March 2017 in comparison to 21,741 in March 2016.
The second largest contributor from this market segment was India and showed a 15.4% positive increase. Australia also showed an increase of 30.4% in arrivals.
Asia and The Pacific represent 35.8% (40,302) of the total arrivals for March 2017, and the total numbers for the segment indicate a dip of 2.5%.
Americas and the Middle East
Two emerging markets in the Maldives, the Americas showed a total positive increase of 14.7% (5,440). The USA was the largest contributor from the Americas and showed an 8.8% incline in arrivals.
The Middle East indicates an overall decline 8.3% (3,976), the largest contributor to this being Saudi Arabia from where the arrivals have decreased by 31.0%. Arrivals from UAE, however, have increased by a notable 58.8%.
While the arrivals for March 2017 have declined, the number of arrivals in the first three months of 2017 continues to be higher than the arrivals in the first three months of 2016, with a 4.3% increase for January-March 2017, attributable to the 16% increase in January and 7.6% increase in February.