China has displaced India from second place in the list of countries with the most tourist arrivals to the Maldives. The Ministry of Tourism said that China overtook India as the second largest tourism market for the Maldives last week.

China was the nation’s top market in terms of tourist numbers before the COVID pandemic, however, due to China’s prolonged lockdown, visitor numbers dwindled and were slow to initially pick up. With an increase in direct flights from China, the numbers are once again on an upward trend. As of Monday, 153,989 tourists had visited from China, accounting for 11 percent of the market share, the ministry said.

China is expected to lead the market before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Russia maintains its top position on the market list with 161,461 tourists visiting the Maldives in 2023. India, currently ranked third, has seen 153,424 tourists visiting the Maldives so far this year.

The Maldives aims to attract 1.9 million tourists by the end of 2023. Statistics indicate that 1.4 million tourists have visited thus far this year, marking a 13.9 percent increase over the same period last year.

The country is currently welcoming an average of 4,980 tourists per day.