The number of Chinese tourist arrivals to the Maldives is expected to surpass 50,000 after the nation became the largest tourist market for the Maldives at the beginning of this year, arrivals data trends showed.

As of the 21 February, the number of Chinese tourists who had visited Maldives had reached 49,769, virtually guaranteeing that arrivals would have breached the 50,000 mark by this week.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, a total of 349,612 tourists visited the Maldives as of the beginning of February.

The number of tourists arrivals over the same period this year, when compared to last year, increased by 16.3 percent.

According to the ministry’s arrival figures, Italy was the second largest market with 33,552 tourists and Russian tourists, now ranked third, reached 33,213.

There are currently 180 resorts in operation as well as 15 hotels and 829 guesthouses.

The Maldives aims to attract more than two million tourists this year.