A vibrant ceremony has been held to mark the happy occasion of the first direct flight from China to the Maldives since 2020. The ceremony was held at Velana International Airport on January 18, 2023, with the arrival of flight JD455 from Beijing Daxing International Airport carrying Chinese tourists to the Maldives. This is the first time visitors from China have been able to fly directly to the Maldives following the border closure due to the global pandemic.
The arriving tourists were greeted with traditional BoduBeru, and a special gift pack along with flowers in celebration of welcoming the first visitors from China to the Maldives in the past 3 years. The event was joined by a high-level delegation, including Ministers, Ambassadors and other high-level executives from the Government of the Maldives and China.
The Chinese market consistently topped the arrival charts to the Maldives prior to 2020, when the nation closed for approximately three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In 2019, China was the top source market with 284,029 arrivals (16.7%). This number fell greatly in 2020, to 6th place with 34,245 arrivals (6.2%), and fell even further over the next two years.
Speaking on this momentous occasion, the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of MMPRC, Mr Thoyyib Mohamed, stated that today marks a bright beginning in a new chapter in welcoming outbound tourists from China.
“We are extremely pleased to be welcoming flights from China to the Maldives again. China had been our key source market for some years prior to the onset of the pandemic, and we are looking forward to Chinese travellers topping our arrival charts again.”
MMPRC has several exciting activities planned for this market for 2023, including an e-learning campaign; digital campaigns with top chinese apps such as Metiuan and Ele.me; outdoor marketing campaigns; joint promotional campaigns; familiarisation trips; social media campaigns; and physical participation in fairs and exhibitions in this market for the first time since 2019.
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