On February 4, 2021, a total of 102,107 tourist arrivals have been recorded. According to the Ministry of Tourism, 10,004 arrivals were from 1st to 4th February, with a daily average of 2,501 arrivals. The top source market for tourist arrivals is Russia, followed by India and Ukraine. Other top source markets include Kazakhstan, Romania, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Czech Republic and United States.
The year 2020 started with high hopes of reaching 2 million tourist arrivals, as Maldives completed 2019 with a record-breaking amount of 1.7 million tourists for the first time. The month of January was triumphant as Maldives recorded a 14% increase in tourist arrivals as opposed to the previous year. With this laying the foundation for another victorious year, the country was anticipating a successful year ahead. However, it was disrupted by the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic which resulted in border closure and ceasing of flight operations.
The lockdown began and Maldives immediately began adapting to the new situation, and the government and tourism industry got together to brainstorm and project the course of the pandemic. The operational efforts were adjusted to evolving situations and the process of preparing for the reopening of borders initiated in phases.
On July 15, 2020, Maldives reopened its borders to tourists of all nationalities with the reopening of several resorts and liveaboards. Guesthouses also resumed operations on October 15, 2020. Currently, there is no mandatory quarantine for arrival but all tourists are required to fill an online health declaration form within 24 hours prior to departure and submit a negative COVID-19 PCR test result, conducted maximum 96 hours prior to departure to Maldives.
The reopening of borders brought about a lot of challenges but President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih made the solid decision to do so after careful consideration, and the implementation of several stringent health and safety measures in the country. All tourist establishments are required to follow the guideline given by the Ministry of Tourism and the local Health Protection Agency, HPA.
Maldives was one of the first countries to reopen its borders and even during such unprecedented times, the tourism industry remained vigilant and worked towards increasing tourist arrival numbers. In this regard, 2020 ended with the celebration of over 500,000 tourist arrivals for the year, and over 100,000 tourist arrivals since the reopening of borders.
Currently, there are over 140 resorts and over 330 guesthouses in operation, along with over 135 liveaboards and 11 hotels. There are 27 airlines connecting Maldives to the rest of the world.
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