The Maldives, for the first time since tourism started in the islands in 1972, celebrates the arrival of 500,000 tourists to the islands within a period of one year.
The lucky visitor who arrived in the Maldives as the 500,000th visitor was Ms Valeria Vavassori from Italy. This trip was Vavassori's first visit to the Maldives.
This achievement for Maldivian tourism was marked with colourful traditional dances and vibrant beats of the 'boduberu' (traditional Maldivian drums) performed at the arrival hall of Malé International Airport.
The Ministry of Tourism presented the winner with two free holidays in the Maldives for two persons as well as two First Class Round-the-World tickets.
The Maldives has been enjoying favourable growth in tourist arrivals over the past years due to its increasing popularity as an exclusive world class tourist destination. The period from January to October 2003 saw increased growth with over 452,000 tourists visiting the islands, which is a growth 17 per cent compared to the same period in 2002.
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