Thursday, November 21, 2019

Indian Ocean Islands

Maldives aims to increase Gulf interest
July 2019 1660

The third edition of Travel Trade Maldives took place from June 11 to 13, with 500 industry professionals from top 160 resort properties, international trade agencies including leading tour operators and travel agents, media personnel, international airlines and key industry stakeholders.

TTN was handed the responsibility to explain the importance of the Middle East market to the Maldivian travel trade.

With nearly 36 million tourist departures in 2015, the Middle East market is one of the fastest growing, tourist-generating regions in the world, second only to Asia Pacific.

The Middle East region, especially the United Arab Emirate and Saudi Arabia market holds much potential for the Maldives.

Last year, 52,114 tourists from the region visited the Maldives. From January to March 2019, 12,810 tourist arrived from the Middle East region, which is a growth of 7.7 per cent compared to the same period of time last year.

Although the Middle East occupies a small share (3.5 per cent) of Maldives’s overall feeder market graph, the GCC signifies the perfect quality tourist to the island nation.

For 2018, Saudi Arabia was the highest contributor within the Middle East, accounting for 1.6 per cent of the market share of the total arrivals, making a double-digit growth of 20.4 per cent compared to the same period of 2017.

The UAE experienced a slowdown in arrivals by the end of the fourth quarter of 2018. Arrivals from the country have been down by 14 per cent for the period.

Kuwait also showed a similar downward trend by the end of December 2018, registering – 0.4 per cent in its arrivals to record a share of 0.3 per cent. Arrivals from Egypt also decreased by -1.2 per cent the end of December 2018, to reach 0.2 per cent shares for the period.

Qatar has been on the recovery track and has performed with sound results, by the end of December 2018. Arrivals increased strongly accounting for a growth of 74.4 per cent and 0.2 per cent shares.

The Middle East is already the most well-connected region to the Maldives. Daily flights from the major regional carriers direct to the destination. All major Gulf airlines connect to Maldives, with Emirates (thrice daily) Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways, Saudia (Riyadh and Jeddah direct, also to Riyadh via Colombo).

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