China Remains Dominant Force in Maldives Tourism

Photo: Noku Maldives

China has solidified its position as the leading source of tourists for the Maldives, according to the latest statistics released by the Ministry of Tourism. With 70,394 Chinese tourists visiting so far this year, China maintains its significant 11% market share. This continued dominance reflects a return to pre-pandemic trends, where China consistently held the top spot.

While Russia held the leading position briefly this year, China has reclaimed its place. The United Kingdom follows closely behind in third place with 64,037 tourists, and Italy and Germany round out the top five with 59,763 and 50,010 visitors, respectively.

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The Maldives has enjoyed a strong start to 2024, welcoming a total of 637,773 tourists thus far. This translates to a significant increase compared to the same period last year. The daily average has also risen, with approximately 7,300 tourists arriving each day in the first six days of April – a clear sign of growing tourist interest.

The sustained influx of Chinese tourists coincides with recent diplomatic efforts, including the visit of Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu to China. This visit, facilitated by the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, is seen as a key factor in bolstering Chinese tourism to the Maldives.

Airlines like Beijing Capital Airlines, China Eastern, and Sichuan Airlines have responded to the growing demand by operating direct flights between China and the Maldives, further enhancing accessibility for Chinese travelers.

The Maldivian government, buoyed by the strong start to the year, has set an ambitious target of attracting 2 million tourists in 2024. However, the Ministry of Tourism is aiming even higher, setting its sights on welcoming a record-breaking 2.3 million tourists by the end of the year.

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