Indian Tourist Arrivals in Maldives Declines by 42%

According to data released by the Ministry of Tourism, tourist arrivals from India has plummeted by 42% in the past four months.

At the onset of the year, India held the top spot among Maldives’s tourist-sending nations. However, recent months have seen India slide to sixth place in the rankings.

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Figures reveal that until May 4th, a total of 43,991 Indian tourists arrived in Maldives. This stands in stark contrast to the 73,785 Indian tourists who visited during the same period last year; 42,638 Indian tourists arrived in Maldives as of April this year.

Despite the downturn in Indian arrivals, Maldives continues to attract visitors from other countries. With a total of 794,109 tourists visiting Maldives by May 4th, China emerges as the largest contributor, with 87,168 tourists, followed closely by Russia with 80,160 tourists, and the UK with 76,823 tourists.

The sharp decline in Indian tourist arrivals is attributed to various factors, including strained diplomatic relations between India and Maldives. Tensions escalated following certain social media posts by three deputy ministers of the Maldivian government, which were viewed as derogatory towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Additionally, the ‘India Out’ campaign launched by the opposition Progressive National Congress (PNC), advocating for the withdrawal of Indian troops, further strained bilateral relations.

Calls for a boycott of Maldives by influential Indian film personalities have also contributed to the decline in Indian tourist numbers. While the impact of this boycott remains limited, the Maldivian government has endeavored to offset the decline by fostering closer ties with China, a nation from which a significant number of tourists visit Maldives.

As such, the Maldivian government has set a goal of welcoming two million tourists this year.

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