Maldives edging closer to achieving its target of 500,000 tourist arrivals in 2020. 

Due to COVID-19, Maldives closed its borders in March and only opened in mid-July. The nation which had experienced 1.7 million tourists in 2019, saw its biggest industry left a standstill due to the virus.

So far in 2020, the nation, among the top tourist destinations in the world has recorded just 462,474 tourist arrivals. The government, leading from the record-breaking success of 2019, had targeted to bring in 2 million tourists in 2020, only for the pandemic to hit the nation. It was then forced to revise its projected target to 500,000 which is now close to being achieved. 

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has stated that Maldives could achieve its revised target by December 25. Minister Mausoom today, tweeted that the Maldivian tourism industry was bouncing back and that in November 2020, tourist arrivals from some markets had increased when compared with November 2019. 

He hailed the increase of tourist arrivals from Egypt which had increased by 40 percent as well as the 24.4 percent increase from Kazakhstan. The Minister also noted the five percent increase of tourist arrivals from Russia. Arrivals from Brazil increased by 2.9 percent while arrivals from Ukraine increased by 0.9 percent in November 2020, according to Minister Mausoom. A total of 79,627 tourist arrivals have been recorded since Maldives reopened its borders in July. 

Tourism Ministry statistics show that Maldives received 3,486 tourists on the first two days of December alone. Since reopening, the nation has so far welcomed 17,404 tourists from Russia. In total, 46,065 tourists from Russia have been recorded this year making it the top tourist market for Maldives in 2020.

India is the next biggest source market with 10,318 tourists, while the UK and the USA come next with 5,703 arrivals and 5,488 arrivals respectively. Arrivals from the UAE are recorded at 4,842.

Since the reopening of borders, Ukraine and Brazil are also among the nations with the highest number of travelers to Maldives. Direct flights between Kazakhstan and Maldives are also planned for the peak tourist season, as Kazakh numbers are observed increasing. 

Since reopening its borders, Maldives has permitted guesthouses, resorts, and safaris to operate and also permitted split stays by tourists. Currently, there are 392 tourist facilities in operation which is a total of 36,446 beds.