After a 9% increase in July, tourist arrivals grew at 19.4% in the first nine days of August with 49,696 visitors recorded as of last week.
The Maldives welcomed 1,124,932 tourists by 9 August, up 13.8% from the same period last year.
Russia displaced India as the top market with 133,320 holidaymakers, representing an 11.9% market share. India was in second place with 125,410 tourists followed by China (102,319 tourists), UK (93,852 tourists) and Germany (75,104 tourists).
The number of resorts in operation climbed to 173 with the opening of the Amari Raaya property in Raa Atoll this month. The 187-villa resort is managed by the ONYX Hospitality Group.
The Maldives Inland Revenue Authority collected MVR3.53 billion (US$228.9 million) in July, up 32.5% from the same period last year as tourist arrivals grew and corporate income tax and final payment deadlines fell during the month.
The State Trading Organisation signed an MoU with Qatar’s Urbacon Trading and Contractin to build a “bunkering facility and a national strategic oil storage” at Ihavandhippolhu. A feasibility study is due to be conducted as part of the agreement.
The government plans to build a port city and offer oil bunkering services as more than 300 ships pass through the sea lane or eight degree channel near the northernmost atoll every day.
The Maldives State Shipping company signed a deal to purchase a new cargo ship. The MSS Opal, a 67-metre long vessel equipped with a crane that can lift 1,553 tons and the capacity to carry 105 containers, is to be used for the “MSS Transshipment Service” between Malé and the southern ports. Regular 10-day voyages between the capital and Addu City are expected to commence next month.
The Maldives hospitality industry is valued at US$558.10 million in 2023, according to a market research report by Mordor Intelligence, which predicted growth to US$864.81 million by 2028 with a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 9.15%.
“The hospitality industry in the Maldives has been developing on “One Island, One Resort” and has become the best yielding market in Asia,” the report stated.
“With a greater number of the scheduled opening of new resorts and guesthouses with almost 2,000 new rooms/keys addition, the hospitality industry in the islands is attracting more investors. The supportive government policies in the hospitality industry in the Maldives has become one of the pillars of economic growth.”
Global hotel chains and brands Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, AccorHotels, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, Ritz-Carlton and The Emirates Group were identified as key players in the industry.
The government sought an investor to develop an airport in Vaavu atoll after announcing plans to lease the Fotteyo lagoon for resort development. The 50km Fotteyo lagoon is the largest in the Maldives and third largest in the world.
The president issued a decree to add the airport to a list of projects to be carried out under the cross-subsidy policy, which offers designated islands and lagoons for resort development at fixed acquisition costs in exchange for investment in key infrastructure projects.
The minimum investment for the Vaavu airport project was set at US$5 million.
“The total investment proposed or committed under this model shall be set-off against the acquisition cost and/or the declared land rent of the island/land/lagoon allocated for tourism under this model,” the ministry of national planning, housing and infrastructure previously explained.