Maldives: UK tourist arrivals surged in 2018

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The Maldives has announced an impressive 10.2% year-on-year increase in the total number of UK visitor arrivals in 2018, when compared with 2017. In total, 114,602 UK tourists arrived in the Indian Ocean destination from January – December 2018, compared with 103,977 in 2017.

December alone saw 10,784 UK tourist arrivals in the Maldives, representing an increase of 11% when compared to the same month in 2017 when 9,717 UK travellers arrived in the Maldives. The UK represents the second largest European inbound market for tourism to the Maldives and the third largest globally, with holidaymakers from the UK counting for 7.7% of total arrivals to the Maldives in 2018.

Globally, the Maldives welcomed 1.48 million international tourists in 2018, representing a 6.8% year-on-year increase when compared to the total arrivals in 2017.

In 2018, the Maldives celebrated major infrastructure transformations and several new resort openings, including The Westin Maldives Miriandhoo Resort and Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi. This year at least 17 further resort openings are planned in the Maldives, including LUX* North Malé Atoll, Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi Resort and The Nautilus, a 26-roomed boutique resort in the heart of the Maldives’ UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. In 2019, the Maldives will also celebrate the opening of CROSSROADS, a combined leisure and entertainment project that will span across nine islands and will become the largest integrated resort in the Indian Ocean.

Commenting on the increase of tourist arrivals, the Maldives’ Minister of Tourism, Hon. Ali Waheed, said, “The UK is one of the Maldives’ most important inbound markets for tourism, so we are extremely pleased to see a continued increase in the number of British travellers who choose to holiday here. This year, we will welcome the opening of several new exceptional four-star and luxury resorts so we look forward to welcoming even more new and returning UK guests to our islands.”

In addition to new tourism developments in the Maldives, the destination was presented with a host of impressive industry awards in 2018 and was most recently crowned as the ‘World’s Leading Dive Destination 2018’ at the World Travel Awards, which were held in Lisbon in December 2018. Furthermore, five Maldivian resorts were also recognised at the awards evening, including Baros Maldives, which was named the ‘World’s Most Romantic Resort 2018’, and Jumeirah Vittaveli, which was awarded as the ‘World’s Leading Honeymoon Resort 2018’.