The Finance Ministry of the Maldives has projected that in 2024, the country is likely to welcome 2 million tourists. This estimation has been disclosed in the State Budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
In anticipation of this surge in tourist arrivals, the Finance Ministry has also forecasted a 7 per cent increase in the number of nights tourists will spend in the Maldives during the forthcoming fiscal year, with 14.3 million nights or days expected.
While the budget report indicates a potential decrease in European tourist arrivals, other markets, including China, may compensate for this decline in the coming year. The resumption of operations by three additional Chinese airlines is anticipated to contribute to the continued growth of Chinese tourist arrivals.
The Ministry of Finance has also emphasised the development plans for Velana International Airport, with its new terminal scheduled to become operational by 2025. This expansion is expected to double the growth rate of mid-range tourist arrivals compared to previous years, with a target of more than 2.5 million tourists expected to visit the Maldives in 2026.
Furthermore, the State Budget for 2024 predicts a 6.6 per cent growth in the tourism sector’s output for the year. This growth rate is noted as the lowest since 2016 and 2020, indicating a return to a more sustainable level of expansion for the sector.
The Maldivian tourism industry has exhibited resilience and recovery since 2021, following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is expected to continue its growth trajectory in the coming years.