Tourist arrivals increase in January despite coronavirus outbreak

Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed has revealed tourist arrivals in January 2020 increased in comparison to January 2019, despite the worldwide outbreak of Novel coronavirus.

Speaking at a press conference held today, the tourism minister said 173,874 tourists arrived in Maldives last month, which is a significant increase on the 151,554 arrivals recorded in January 2019. The minister further revealed 11,115 bookings have been cancelled since January 26 due to the coronavirus outbreak, although 24,759 new bookings have been made during this period.

Minister Ali Waheed noted the ministry is conducting efforts to raise awareness on the safety measures to be taken against a possible coronavirus outbreak, noting resorts are prepared for such a situation. The tourism minister, who is also a member of the special task force formed by the administration with regard to the coronavirus outbreak, stated the administration is prepared for the worst-case scenario, adding there is no reason for the public to panic.

As part of the efforts to prevent an outbreak of the virus in Maldives, the administration has temporarily stopped direct flights from China to Maldives. Screening facilities have also been installed in all ports to identify any individuals that may be carrying the virus.