In a year of hardships, the Maldives has welcomed its 500,000th tourist arrival today. 

Maldives following up on its massive success of tourist arrivals in 2019, had targetted to bring in two million tourists in 2020. However, the COVID-19 pandemic put these ambitious targets to a stop and the government was forced to revise the tourist arrivals targets to 500,000.

Today, it achieved the target with the arrival of a German tourist in the morning. 

Maldives, recently crowned as the world’s leading travel destination, held celebrations and a welcoming ceremony at the Velana International Airport upon the arrival of the tourist. 

The lucky 500,000th tourist is a German national named Kirsten Madeleine who arrived on an Emirates flight in the morning. 

Maldives closed its borders in March due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The effects of the virus was badly felt on the Maldivian tourism industry which is the biggest industry of the nation. Maldives only reopened its borders on July 15, but has since received 100,000 tourists. The nation welcomed the 100,000th tourist since the border reopening last Saturday.

The industry is once again slowly resurging with more and more arrivals as well as international airline operations to the nation.