The Maldives aims to increase visitor numbers to 2.5 million by 2023
Tourism to the Maldives continues to boom. Last year the total number of visitors rose to 1.4 million, an increase of 6.8 per cent, and in January 2019 the trend continued with a rise of 6.4 per cent. At 7.9 per cent, Germany is the country’s second largest customer after China, the dominant player in this market, said Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director of the Maldives Marketing & PR Corporation, at ITB Berlin 2019.
There are currently 147 resorts, to which another 20 are to be added this year. Efforts are also being made to promote the 525 guesthouses which now exist, a new product. The government has an ambitious goal, namely to increase the number of tourists to 2.5 million within five years, said Tourism Minister Ali Waheed. To achieve this Velana International Airport will be expanded, and there will be flights to Gan International Airport on an atoll in the south. In the past, it has already catered successfully for charter flights operated by South African Airways from Johannesburg, bringing in visitors from South America as well as South Africa. As of June these services will be resumed, says Hussain Afeef, vice president of the Maldives Association of Tourist Industry.
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