Tourist arrivals to Maldives are expected to increase by 2.4 percent once direct flights between the Maldives and China resume, according to leading travel agency, Inner Maldives.
Chinese ambassador Wang Lixin recently stated that direct flights between Maldives and China were expected to resume in October.
China had been the top source market for tourist arrivals to the island destination before the flights were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Inner Maldives’s managing director Mohamed Firaq told Sun he expects a significant change in tourist arrivals once the flights resume.
Maldives has the target set for 1.6 million tourist arrivals this year. Firaq said the Chinese market will boost the figure by 2.4 percent.
Firaq also spoke about the need to make significant changes to the services at Velana International Airport (VIA) in preparation of the increase in passengers once the Chinese market opens again.
He said the VIA needed to be open 24/7, instead of closing at 02:00 am.
Firaq said he also hoped to see the implementation of positive changes in the tourism sector by the government once the flights resume.
China had been the top source market for tourist arrivals to Maldives before it halted direct flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 267,875 Chinese tourists visited Maldives in 2019, making for 17.5 percent of the record 1.7 billion tourist arrivals to the island destination that year.
China’s spot as the top source market for tourist arrivals to Maldives is now taken by India.