The Maldives has welcomed 1.8 million tourists this year, reaching the national tourist arrival target ahead of schedule. This historic milestone was commemorated with a special ceremony at Velana International Airport (VIA), jointly organised by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the Ministry of Tourism.

The 1.8 millionth tourist, Stefan Mathij, a national of the Netherlands, arrived in the Maldives accompanied by his wife and two children. The Minister of Tourism, Ibrahim Faisal, personally welcomed the Mathij family at VIA.

The Mathij family had planned an extensive holiday itinerary, beginning with a stay at a guesthouse on Himmafushi Island, Kaafu Atoll, followed by a trip to Sri Lanka, and then returning to the Maldives for a stay on Dhigurah Island, Alifu Alifu Atoll. In recognition of the significance of Mathij’s arrival, he was presented with a complimentary four-day stay at the Hilton Maldives Amingiri Resort next year.

Russia leads the arrival market for the Maldives this year, contributing 200,200 tourists as of 18 December and accounting for 11.2 percent of the market share, according to the latest statistics released by the tourism ministry. India closely follows with 199,187 tourist arrivals, representing 11.1 percent of the market share.

Other significant contributors to the Maldivian tourism market include China, the United Kingdom, and Germany, with respective tourist arrivals of 183,457, 148,113, and 129,436. As of 18 December, these countries accounted for 10.2 percent, 8.3 percent, and 7.2 percent of the market share, respectively. Italy, the United States, France, Spain, and South Korea also feature in the top 10 arrival markets.

In July, the Maldives celebrated the arrival of its one-millionth tourist, who was a Russian national. While the national target for arrivals this year was set at 1.8 million, former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih projected an expectation of 1.9 million tourists during his campaign trail.

The Maldives Association for Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) anticipates a total arrival of 2.1 million tourists this year. Looking ahead, the government projects two million tourists to visit the Maldives in 2024.