The Maldives is on the precipice of surpassing its national arrival target of 1.8 million tourists by the close of 2023, setting a new record in the process. The Maldives has welcomed 1,752,706 visitors as of 12 December, eclipsing the previous record of 1,702,831 visitors set in 2019, according to data released by the Ministry of Tourism.

The Maldives requires an additional 47,000 tourists to achieve its national arrival target for this year. However, given the current arrival trends and the commencement of the peak tourist season, the country is projected to exceed this target. The Maldives typically witnesses a surge in tourism from December through April, aligning with the holiday season in most European countries and the Far East, including Russia and China.

The year 2020 marked the lowest number of arrivals in the past five years due to the border closure amid the Covid-19 pandemic. However, the subsequent years saw a remarkable recovery, with visitor numbers soaring to 1.2 million in 2021 and 1.5 million in 2022.

The tourism ministry reports an average daily arrival of approximately 5,700 tourists this December. With this daily average expected to persist, the national tourist arrival target is anticipated to be achieved before year-end.

Russia tops the list of the Maldives’ tourist markets this year, having secured the second position in 2022. India, the top market in 2022, occupies second place this year. Russia holds a market share of 11.3 percent this year, with 197,364 Russian tourists arriving in the Maldives as of 12 December. India currently has a market share of 11.1 percent, with 193,693 arrivals as of the same date.

China and the United Kingdom (UK) follow closely behind with 10.3 and 8.2 percent of the market share, respectively. Germany rounds out the top five with a market share of 7.3 percent, welcoming 127,618 tourists. Other significant markets include Italy, the United States, France, Spain, and Switzerland.

The Maldives currently boasts a total of 1,139 tourism establishments, encompassing tourist resorts, hotels, guesthouses, and safari vessels. This translates to a total bed capacity of 61,207, with tourist resorts accounting for 70 percent of the bed capacity and guesthouses contributing 22 percent.