Russia top source market as tourist arrivals from India dwindle

Tourists at Velana International Airport. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Tourist arrivals from India have plummeted as COVID-19 ravages the populous country, leading to Russia overtaking India to become the top source market for tourist arrivals to Maldives.

The alarming surge in COVID-19 infections and deaths in India prompted Maldives to tighten travel restrictions on India last week. Indian tourists are no longer permitted to stay in guesthouses and hotels located in residential islands. They also need to present proof of a negative PCR test.

However, Indian tourists can continue to stay in resorts and liveaboards.

Statistics released by Tourism Ministry shows 7,212 tourists visited Maldives in the first two days of May, and 396,982 overall – from January 1 to May 2.

22.4 percent of the arrivals were from Russia, 21.9 percent from India, 5.5 percent from Ukraine, 5.2 percent from Germany, and 4 percent from Kazakhstan.

Maldives recorded 91,200 tourist arrivals last April, and 109,585 tourist arrivals the month before.