India has always been a top source tourist market for Maldives. However, ever since Maldives reopened in light of COVID-19, the top travel destination has seen a massive influx of tourist visitors from its northern neighbor due to certain travel easements such as the first travel bubble established in South East Asia.

With an increase in tourist arrivals, India has now moved up the rankings to become the second top source market for tourist arrivals to Maldives. According to the statistics released by the Maldivian Tourism Ministry, 5,449 Indian tourists have visited Maldives between July 15 and November 19. This is 9.2 percent of the source markets.

A total of four airlines from India have also resumed commercial operations to Maldives; IndiGo Air, GoAir, Air India and SpiceJet.

Many of India’s wealthy and celebrity figures are also looking to Maldives as their luxury retreat and are coming in on private jets, with Vistara is operating charters to Maldives.

Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Authority (MMPRC) is also running advertisements targeting Indian tourists, and visits by Indian celebrities are serving to increase Maldives’ brand exposure.

Maldives and India established an air travel bubble in August. India was the top source market for tourist arrivals to Maldives in 2019 with 166,030 arrivals.

Statistics released by Tourism Ministry show over 51,000 tourists have visited Maldives since it reopened its borders, increasing total tourist arrivals this year to over 434,000. The Tourism Ministry is targeting 500,000 tourist arrivals this year.

Maldives is currently open to all tourists, provided they have proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken 96 hours before departure from their original destination.