The Maldives’ key industries, with the exception of the fisheries sector, grew in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) said.

According to the central bank’s Quarterly Economic Bulletin the Maldives’ GDP is expected to increase year-on-year in Q1 2024. The increase in national productivity was mainly due to the growth in the tourism sector and ancillary industries, the Bulletin highlighted. The MMA mainly attributed the growth in tourism to the increase in resort bed-nights.

The number of tourist arrivals crossed the half a million mark in Q1; which the central bank attributed to the increase in tourist arrivals from source markets in Europe, Asia and the Pacific during peak tourist season.

Tourism arrivals in Q1 2024 was the highest in a single quarter. On 10 February alone, the Maldives recorded 10,214 arrivals, the highest single day tourist arrivals since the Covid lockdown in 2019, the Bulletin noted.

Approximately 604,000 tourists arrived in Q1; marking a 15% increase compared to Q1 2023, and a 25% increase compared to Q1 2019.

The number of days, or bed-nights, spent by tourists in the Maldives also increased in Q1 of 2024, the central bank noted. Bed-nights increased by 9 percent overall where resorts noted a 7 percent increase and guesthouses a 5 percent increase.

The largest number of tourists, region wise, were from Europe, making up 66 percent of visitors in Q1 2024. The largest from a single country were from China, with numbers tripling when compared to the same period in 2023.

The number of tourist resorts in Q1 2024 increased by five; from 170 to 175, over the same period in 2023. Bed capacity increased by 2 percent over 2023 while the occupancy rate rose from 71 percent to 75 percent.