Direct flights from China to the Maldives have recommenced after almost three years.
A flight from Beijing Capital Airlines touched down in the Maldives today around noon. The airline has scheduled four flights every week to the Maldives till February 22.
More tourists will arrive in the Maldives from the Chinese market along with other airlines after this first one. These airlines include China Eastern Airlines and Hong Kong Airlines, both to commence operations this month.
Tourism Minister Dr Abdulla Mausoom has previously stated that with the recommencement of flights from China, more than an estimated 100,000 tourists will visit the Maldives from the Chinese market. The number of Chinese tourists to visit Maldives last year was 12,000.
“The picture still isn’t very clear. But as they are a very populous country, and if a reasonable number of them visit, we expect around 100,000 arrivals from the Chinese market,” Dr Mausoom said.
He further said that he thinks with the cooperation of the public, that number can grow even higher and that this will bring very positive changes to the Maldivian economy.
China has been one of the top source markets for tourist arrivals to Maldives over the last six years. As per the statistics collected by the tourism ministry, China has been the tourism market leader for the Maldives since 2010 until the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Tourist visits from China have dwindled since 2020, due to the lockdown in China. Maldives expects the numbers to increase this year with the reopening of the borders.
Maldives expects to reach 1.8 million tourist arrivals this year - which is higher than the record 1.7 million arrivals back in 2019.