Despite the temporary halt in the industry due to the unprecedented pandemic in 2020, Maldives has successfully wrapped up the year with 555, 213 tourist arrivals in the year.
Maldives ceased issuinb on-arrival visas to all tourists from 27th March 2020 as a precautionary measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. The borders were reopened 4 months later on 15th July. Prior to the lockdown, Maldives welcomed around 380,000 tourists within the first 3 months of the year. The island nation welcomed 172, 366 tourists from border reopening to 31st December 2020.
Looking at the total arrivals after border reopening (from 15th July – 31st December), Russia remains at the top with 31,800 followed by India with 27,667 tourists. United Kingdom has jumped to third position with 19,686 with USA at number four with 8,306. Other top source markets after the border reopening include Germany, France, United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Spain.
As of 31st December 2020, Maldives has 543 tourist facilities operational with 41, 854 beds. This is with 142 resorts/marinas accumulating to 32,792 beds followed by 257 guesthouses with 5,028 beds, 133 safari vessels with 2,576 beds and 11 hotels with 1,458 beds.
Guesthouses are operational at 39 islands in 12 atolls: Haa Alif, Noonu, Baa, Kaafu, Alifu Alifu, Alifu Dhaalu, Vaavu, Thaa, Laamu, Gaaf Dhaalu, Gnaviyani and Seenu.
Maldives reopened borders to all nationalities from 15th July 2020. All visitors are granted a 30-day free on-arrival visa with a confirmed booking for a stay at any registered tourist facility in the country.
Maldives has also extended ‘Split Stay’ for all types of tourist accommodation facilities, allowing tourists to split their stay between resort, hotels, guesthouses and liveaboard boats, with prior approval as per split-stay procedure and guideline by the Ministry of Tourism.
While there is no mandatory quarantine or testing on arrival, tourists traveling to Maldives are required to complete an online health declaration form and provide a negative PCR test result taken at least 96 hours prior to their departure.
The negative PCR test result must be attached while completing the Traveler Health Declaration form, which has to be submitted online via IMUGA (www.imuga.immigration.gov.mv), by all arriving passengers before arrival (but not exceeding 24 hours before arrival time).