On November 1 this year, Maldives recorded the highest number of tourist arrivals on a single-day with 1,582 entries. The archipelago has also surpassed its forecast for October at 21,000 arrivals, Maldives Minister of Tourism Dr Abdulla Mausoom stated in a tweet. "Thanks and congratulations to travel and tourism industry partners and related authorities, we had a new record of daily arrivals since border opening with 1,582 tourists,"
Between reopening on July 15 and September 30 this year, 2,823 Emirati travellers opted to holiday on a beautiful Maldives island, followed closely by travellers from Russia, the US, the UK and Spain
Maldives reopened its borders to international tourists on July 15, with strict safety measures to ensure the protection of tourists and staff. Resorts and liveaboards resumed operations on this day. However, guesthouses (outside the greater Male’ region) resumed operations on October 15, with the same regulations in place, to provide tourists with a safe and joyous experience in the small island nation.
"Due to the unique proposition of the Maldives – one island, one property – the destination is ideal for the current times, featuring inbuilt social distancing. The only time you ever meet people is at the airport or the dock, after that it is straight to your resort," Stephane Laguette, Executive Vice President Sales & Marketing, Atmosphere Hotels & Resorts, tells TTN. "While we wait for our regular guests to return as more flights and borders open up, we are seeing an uptake from new markets such as Egypt. In the current content, we are doing pretty well and December also looks pretty strong across our properties."
A number of high-profile celebrities and social media influencers have been travelling to Maldives and documenting their stay on their online and social media platforms. This is equally meaningful in showcasing the Maldives as safe and one of the most preferred tourist destinations to potential travellers.
Official visitor data from Maldives Immigration has revealed that between reopening on July 15 and September 30 this year, 2,823 Emirati travellers opted to holiday on a beautiful Maldives island, followed closely by travellers from Russia (2,540), the US (1,798), the UK (1,596) and Spain (1,041).
For dnata Travel, the UAE’s longest standing travel provider, holidays to the Maldives have proved most popular for travellers on the whole this summer, for both UAE nationals and residents, with the trend looking set to continue throughout the remainder of this year with bookings for UAE National Day, winter breaks, and beyond.
Emily Jenkins, Head of dnata Travel Leisure UAE, commented: "The Maldives, conveniently accessible with just a four-hour flight from Dubai, and which boasts a variety of dreamy private island locations and world-class resorts with high standards of health and safety, is providing the ultimate getaway and change of scenery for travellers at this time.
"With in-resort PCR testing offered across the islands, easy transfers and private resorts operating at limited capacity, the Maldives is leading the way in offering visitors a smooth, safe travel experience in the ultimate paradise setting.
"In response to changing traveller requirements, the dnata Travel team is working hard in partnership with top Maldives resorts to offer our customers a stress-free holiday experience including transfers from the airport to the resort of their choice, PCR testing facilities available in-resort, and travel insurance, all as part of their holiday package."
The results of a recent dnata Travel poll completed by thousands of people across the UAE revealed that ‘beach breaks’ – with 50 per cent of the votes – followed by ‘outdoor / adventure holidays’ and ‘island escapes’, were the most popular holiday types of choice for UAE travellers in 2020/2021.
Jenkins added: "The Maldives has remained in our top five most popular holiday destinations for UAE travellers throughout much of our history, and this trend looks set to continue with advance bookings being made throughout the rest of 2020, and on to 2021.
"The private resorts of the Maldives offer the ultimate island escape, in renowned, luxurious accommodation surrounded by some of the world’s most beautiful natural settings. New offerings include the Maldives’ first multi-island leisure destination at Crossroads Maldives, and an upcoming All-Inclusive mega-resort in Siyam World. Meanwhile, travellers can rediscover its unique features from its iconic over-water villas, to its selection of incredible water sports and world-class underwater dining. There’s nowhere else quite like it."
MIDDLE EAST FOCUS
With the reopening of major Middle Eastern borders, tourists are able to visit Maldives more frequently now. Thus, marketing efforts in the Middle Eastern market have increased in order to regain the market share, and increase tourist arrivals from the GCC and the KSA region. This is carried forward by utilizing campaigns such as the joint campaign with DNATA Travel and promotions with Emirates Woman, targeting potential segments. Under the Rediscover Maldives campaign, a series of webinars were also conducted for the travel trade of the Middle East market and other key markets.
The airlines operating from the Middle Eastern region include Emirate Airlines, Qatar Airways and Etihad Airways. In addition to this, FlyDubai has started its operations to the Maldives on the October 27.
While tourist arrivals from the Middle East to the Maldives showed a 15.1 per cent increase, with a record of 60,003 arrivals in 2019, current arrival trends since the reopening positions the UAE market third in terms of arrival from the date of border opening.
Visit Maldives is currently conducting major marketing activities in key markets such as Global campaign with CNN, integrated webinar sessions in China, and the recent participation in World Travel Market (WTM) Virtual 2020 in the UK. Furthermore, Visit Maldives has successfully concluded the Rediscover Maldives webinar series in September, which was targeted to travel trade in source markets. In 2021, Visit Maldives aims to lead the national efforts in uniting all tourism stakeholders to try and achieve pre COVID-19 arrival numbers.
Prior to the lockdown on 27th March, Maldives observed 382, 760 tourist arrivals. Since the reopening of borders, there have been over 37,000 arrivals up until now, with tourist arrivals from major markets such as the Middle East, India and UAE.