Maldives expects Chinese tourist arrivals to increase by 40 percent this year, says Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC)’s managing director, Fathimath Thaufeeq.
In an interview to China’s Global Times on Thursday, Fathimath said the MMPRC expects Chinese tourist arrivals to recover to pre-pandemic level this year.
"China has long remained one of the most significant sources for the Maldives' tourism industry ... there was consistent growth in arrivals [of Chinese travelers] before global border closures and after the reopening of Chinese borders," she said.
China had been the top source market for tourist arrivals to the Maldives before the Covid-19 pandemic.
During his recent state visit to China, Maldivian President Dr. Mohamed Muizzu appealed for increased efforts to have China reclaim its spot.
“China was our number one market pre-COVID, and it is my request that we intensify efforts for China to regain this position,” said Muizzu, while addressing the Invest Maldives Forum held in Fuzhou last week.
During the visit, Maldives and China exchanged over 20 agreements, and discussed increasing direct flights between Maldives and different regions of China.
Maldives recorded over 1.8 million tourist arrivals last year. The highest number visitors came from India, with 209,198, followed closely by Russia, with 209,146 arrivals.
China placed third with 187,118 arrivals.