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Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has revealed the total number of tourist arrivals for 2022 is expected to reach 1.6 million by the end of the year.
Speaking at a press conference, Tourism Minister Mausoom said the ministry had set three targets for tourist arrivals this year, which were 1.6 million, 1.7 million and 1.8 million. The minister said the Russia-Ukraine conflict has drastically brought down the projected figures, meaning the chances of matching the arrivals recorded in 2019 are now low. He noted the tourist arrivals are currently 11% lower than projected figures, mainly due to the rapid decline in tourist arrivals from Russia.
Speaking further, the tourism minister expressed hope tourist arrivals from the Russian and Ukrainian markets will start to rise again once the conflict comes to an end. The minister noted the tourist market from China is also expected to be active again during the final quarter of the year. He added given the current circumstances, reaching the target of 1.6 million tourist arrivals would still be a success.
As per the latest statistics of the tourism ministry, the Maldives has recorded 621,633 tourist arrivals so far this year, down 8.7% from the figures recorded during the same period in 2019. The UK has replaced Russia as the top source market of tourists to the Maldives this year, with India currently ranked second.