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Tourist arrivals to Maldives decline in 2020’s 3rd quarter by 95 percent
A survey by the central bank, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) showed that the number of tourist arrivals to Maldives in the third quarter of 2020 saw a decline of 95 percent compared to the same period of 2019.

According to the information published in the quarterly economic bulletin, prepared based on information provided by companies in the tourism sector, government authorities and the central bank; the number of tourist arrivals during the third quarter saw a decrease from 389,101 to 18,918 this year, edition.mv reported.

With this decline, the occupancy rate of the tourism industry and the expenditure by tourists also plummeted. The occupancy rate decreased to nine percent while the occupancy rate decreased by 83 percent.

MMA’s survey also shows that the number of days that tourists spend in Maldives, however, increased to 11 in this year’s second quarter, which is nearly double the amount of six days recorded in the same period last year.

The most number of tourist arrivals during this year’s second quarter were recorded from European countries, consisting of 55 percent of total arrivals.

Statistics shared by the Ministry of Tourism reveal that a total of 441,952 tourists visited the island nation this year, of which 59,105 arrived after the borders were reopened.

Maldives reopened its borders to international passengers on July 15, after nearly four months since the state halted issuing on-arrival visas on March 27. Guesthouses were permitted to resume operations and kick start local tourism on October 15.

Despite the lifting of restrictions, Maldives has noted a significant reduction in tourist arrivals compared to pre-COVID figures. While a total of 382,760 tourists were recorded before borders were closed in March, the latest figures show that tourist arrivals have only exceeded 50,000 since July 15.

However, Visit Maldives highlighted that arrivals had gradually increased every month following the reopening of borders and noted that figures were expected to peak in the coming days.

Earlier, Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom also expressed hopes for the industry's recovery, estimating that 100,000 tourists would visit Maldives before the end of 2020. The Tourism Ministry expects a total of 500,000 arrivals for the year.

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