Middle East arrivals up 77.8 percent in first quarter 2012

The Maldives has registered a 77.8 percent increase in tourist arrivals from the Middle East region in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period last year, while some traditional markets have shown signs of recovery.

The quarterly report from the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) speculated that the Middle Eastern increase came following the opening of several hotel chains from the region.

“In particular it is important to note the exceptional growth from the Saudi Arabian market,” the report noted.

Arrivals from Germany increased 20.4 percent on the back of improved economic conditions and increased flight frequency, while Switzerland increased 24.5 percent – largely due to the availability of direct flights from Zurich.

However several of the country’s other high-volume markets registered substantial decreases. Arrivals from the UK – the Maldives’ second largest market – fell 12 percent, while Italy and France also recorded a decrease. Small increases in arrivals from Denmark and Norway were offset by declines in arrivals from Finland and Sweden..

Growth slowed in Chinese arrivals, which last year eclipsed the UK as the country’s largest market by volume, with a 16.4 percent increase on the back of cancelled charter flights due to the country’s ongoing political turmoil. Tour operators suggested growth would return in June-July, the MMPRC noted.

Russian arrivals, 19,919 of whom accounted for 7.8 percent of the country’s market share, increased 19.7 percent: “Eastern European region remains the most important emerging market for Maldives,” the report noted.

The MMPRC identified South Africa, India and the USA as potential new opportunities for Maldives tourism, but noted the need for improved flight connections. Growth in the Indian market was hampered by the lack of air connections and the financial difficulties of Indian airline operators.

“Much interest has been generated amongst the Americans with the emerging trend in live aboard cruises in the Maldives,” the MMPRC observed.

Arrivals from selected markets and growth in first quarter 2012 on 2011:

Germany 26,355, +20.4% (10.3 percent market share)
Switzerland 11,803, +24.5%
China 46,662, +16.4%
Russia 9,919, +19.7% (7.8 percent market share)
South Korea 4329, +21.7%
France 25,195, -1.3% (9.8 percent market share)
UK 24,395, -12%
Italy 26,939, (10.5 percent market share)
Japan 8114, -5 percent
India 6179, -10.4 (2 percent market share)
Austria 7152, +11.4%
South Korea 4329, +21.7%
South East Asia (inc Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand) 4515, +12.1%
USA 3566, +6.6%)
Middle East 4344, +77.8% (1.7 percent market share)
Spain and Portugal 1828, -1.33%
South Africa 576, -21.2%
Northern Europe 4499, – 9.2% (Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden)
Israel 713, +61.7%
Turkey 1088, +20%


8 thoughts on “Middle East arrivals up 77.8 percent in first quarter 2012”

  1. Al-hamdulillaah! I pray that we shall soon be divested of the need to court heretics, zionist sympathizers and the worshippers of false, Oogah Boogah cults such as Hinduism and Christianity,for their money. Money that they probably acquired through letting their daughters work alongside men or sell themselves - as is common in the West, India and other deviant regions of the world.

  2. So pleased to hear Middle East arrivals are up. Maldives should market itself as a hot destination for muslim tourists, fully compliant with sharia law.....no pork, no alcohol, no music, no dancing, no singing for children and no sex.....the arabs will love it. When they discover brown sugar is a local delicacy, they will get hooked (pun intended!!).
    Indian tourists and film crews on the other hand should put Maldives on the AVOID list.

  3. @Lubna Ali on Sat, 28th Apr 2012 5:27 PM

    "The head line should say 61.7% increase from israel."

    The Middle East is a very large region! The statistic do not break down the arrivals by nationalities. Wonder why! C'mon, guys, admit the truth will you?

  4. I do not believe that Israel (May Allah SWT's wrath and anger be upon them on Earth and the Hereafter) should be on a list run by a website originating in a 100% MUSLIM country. Perhaps it was a mistake, so I will let it slide this time.

    Also, I would like to take this opportunity to tell my fellow Muslim Maldivian brothers and non-fornicating sisters that I am in favour of creating a religious police force separate from MPS.

  5. I am so glad Saudi men are coming to Maldives. Happy to see they are abandoning the red light districts of Amsterdam and preferring Burkha clad women instead!

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