Can reach target of 1.6mn tourist arrivals: Minister Mausoom

Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom has said the ministry is confident on reaching the target of 1.6 million tourist arrivals this year.

Speaking to 'One', Minister Mausoom said although the Russia-Ukraine conflict has resulted in a decrease in tourist arrivals from the countries, the ministry is confident it can reach its target on tourist arrivals for this year.

"We are looking at 3 scenarios. The lowest scenario is 1.6 million tourist arrivals, the second is 1.7 million and the third is 1.8 million tourist arrivals this year. We are confident we can reach 1.6 million", Minister Mausoom said.

He said the current tourist arrivals are better than pre-pandemic numbers. As such, tourist arrivals increased by 2.2 percent this year, compared to the same period in 2019, he added.

"This is excluding big markets like China and Japan. We are still receiving fewer tourists from these markets. If we get tourist arrivals from these markets like before, we would see a 25 percent increase in tourist arrivals", Minister Mausoom told 'One'.

Minister Mausoom added that guesthouse arrivals are lower owing to the increasing international air fares.

He added that the Maldivian hospitality is welcomed by tourists, and that with better hospitality, Maldives can increase tourist arrivals even more.

According to Tourism Ministry statistics, a total of 942,444 tourists have visited Maldives until 30 July 2022.