- Over 90,000 Indians visited the Maldives in 2018
- International tourist arrivals touched 163,000 in the same year
- The government of Maldives has tripled the budget for tourism promotion
The Maldives was one considered a holiday destination meant only for the rich and famous. However, change is in the air as more middle-class Indians too are looking at these islands as a summer holiday destination.
In 2018, more than 90,000 Indians visited the Maldives. This was a dramatic increase from the 16,000 Indian tourists that visited the country in 2008. The number of Indians holidaying in the Maldives in the next year is expected to cross 100,000.
The year on year growth of Indian tourist arrivals was assessed at 7.5%. Along with the increase in the number of visitors, Indians also appeared to be spending more time in the Maldives. Till a few years ago, the average length of a holiday in the Maldives was 4 days. Indians are now spending up to a week in these islands.
The increase in the number of Indian tourists in the Maldives is synchronous with the growing popularity of the Maldives as a global holiday destination.
In April 2018, the total number of tourists in the Maldives touched 163,000. This number rose by 36.2% to 190,713 in April 2019. This was the highest growth rate since the Tsunami in 2004.
What Makes The Maldives A Favourite Among Indians?
Indian tourists are price sensitive and prefer mid-range hotels. Thus, as the number of mid-range hotels and resorts has increased, so has the number of Indian tourists.
Locally run guesthouses with affordable rates have also helped change the conception of the Maldives as an expensive destination. Another 20 new resorts are set to open soon.
Connectivity between India and the Maldives has also seen a marked improvement. The international airport in the Maldives has been recently expanded.
A number of airlines such as Indigo, Spicejet, and GoAir are also running frequent flights between the two countries. Cruises between the Maldives and India have also become more popular and affordable.
Higher Tourism Promotion Budget
The government of Maldives has also been paying special attention to tourism in the country. The annual budget for tourism promotion was increased to US$6.7 million.
This is three times the amount that was being spent earlier. The government is aiming at welcoming 1.5 million tourists in the coming year.
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