Tourist arrivals show decline of 7.6 percent in January 2013

Tourist arrivals for January 2013 were down by 7.6 percent compared to the same month in 2012, figures from the Ministry of Tourism have revealed.

Earlier this month, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb told local media he was confident the Maldives would reach one million tourist arrivals in 2013, after narrowly falling short of the same target for 2012.

However, figures released by the ministry show that tourist arrivals from Europe and Asia – the two largest markets – had fallen by 4.4 percent and 16.8 percent respectively in January 2013 when compared to the same month in 2012.

According to figures from the tourism ministry, last month was the first time in three years there had been a decline in tourists coming to the Maldives in January when compared to figures from previous years for the same month.

The monthly number of Chinese tourists arriving in the Maldives fell for the first time in over six months compared to figures from previous years.

China, which holds the largest share of the arrivals to the Maldives at 21.6 percent, fell by 31.4 percent from 28,008 in January 2012 to 19,208 in January 2013.

The European market continues its steady decline, with Italy – which held the largest share of tourist arrivals in Europe in January 2012 – falling by 32.5 percent from 10,451 to 7,050 in January 2013.

Russia now holds the largest share of tourists for all countries classified under ‘Europe’ by the ministry, accounting for 10.2 percent of all arrivals in January 2013 at 9,061.

Arrivals from United Kingdom fell from 7,001 in January 2012 to 6,367 in January 2013, while German arrivals – which account for the third largest share of the European arrival market – fell by eight percent when compared to the same month in 2012.

In contrast, India’s tourist arrivals grew by 51.2 percent from 2,303 to 3,483 and arrivals from countries in the Middle East increased from 1,303 to 2,312.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb was not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.

Tourism budget increased by MVR 60 million

Earlier this month, the tourism budget for 2013 was increased from MVR 20 million (US$1.2 million) to MVR 80 million (US$5.1 million).

The increase came after criticism from the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry (MATI), who last month called for the government to reconsider the MVR 20 million budget allocated for tourism marketing in 2013.

The initial sum of money allocated was the lowest in eight years, according to a statement from MATI, which highlighted concerns that the Maldives’ economy was mostly reliant on tourism.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb told local media that the ministry had initially requested a budget of MVR 200 million (US$12.9 million) to carry out tourism promotion for the year, however parliament had “erased a zero” from the figure when finalising the budget.

Adheeb noted that while tourism promotion is expensive, the revenue generated from the industry “drives the entire engine”.

“When we put down MVR 200 million, the government authorities don’t actually realise the priority that this requires. Parliament erased a zero from the MVR 200 million we proposed, and gave us MVR 20 million,” he told Sun Online.

“Then we had to work in all other different ways, and now the Finance Minister has committed to give us MVR 60 million more.”


14 thoughts on “Tourist arrivals show decline of 7.6 percent in January 2013”

  1. this shows that Chinese tourists are also intelligent and discerning travelers.. unlike some media have tried to portray them .. as 'uncultured' and even going as fas as saying 'low yield'.. they are sensitive to the climate in Maldives.. they don't want to be seen as patrons of a brutal regime... vis a vis China-Maldives relations that has angered India so much....

  2. Its falling even the Bagee Adeeb trying to make his amount by selling Maldives 75% off that Bagee Adeeb is unable to Make it Chinee cannot by the Holiday package at the rate of Maldives is cheep tourist form China

  3. Good , Fili Nasheed need to keep on damaging tourism sector and the whole economy with the hope of coming to power.

  4. Hey kuribe, want tourism to improve? Then take your sheikhs that say tourism is haraam, and go back to Pakistan. Win-win situation for you and the Maldivian people, right?

  5. Its because of the political instability, its completely pointless and retarded, both sides can act in a more civilized manner, instead its rioting, brutality, and unnecessary drama

    And the country as a whole is suffering, and no one gives a crap as long as their political agenda comes through, even the retarded people following these idiots like sheep

  6. Waheed and the coup regime really have done a terrible PR for the tourism. Disasterous.

  7. The largest holiday in the Chinese calendar is the Spring Festival or Chinese New Year. The holiday fell later in Feb this year than last year, so the peak in Chinese arrivals will be in mid-February, sucking some traffic from January this year.

    However, another factor is that MEGA Maldives Airlines had to stop three planned charter routes to China in January due to problems with China delaying or denying approval for these 12-16 flights till they were commercially no longer feasible. Those flights would have brought in another 2,000-3,000 pax in January.

    Happy Year of the Snake!

  8. @faida F on Tue, 19th Feb 2013 7:43 PM

    "Chinese tourists are also intelligent and discerning travelers... they are sensitive to the climate in Maldives.. they don’t want to be seen as patrons of a brutal regime…"

    The only "climate" that Chinese or other tourists care about is the tropical sunny climate of the Maldives and nothing else. All this talk about "brutal regime" is a load of horse shit! Tourists don't really care about any of that bollocks.

    The reason why tourists are staying away is simple economics. There is increasing competition and Maldives is losing out to that competition. The Chinese tourists in particular are not repeat visitors, unlike the traditional European traveller who has long been coming here.

    Maldives continues to sell the same old shit, at ever more ridiculous prices. The result is obvious.

  9. Guys - chinese last year traveled more because their New Year was in Jan 12 and this year it was in Feb 13. Hence, you should see the jump in Feb 13 figures.

  10. @Ahmed

    Spot on. Maldives should be wary of neighbouring countries, especially sri lanka when it comes to tourism. The ending of their war meant a lot more competition for Maldives.

  11. Tourism for the vast majority of working people is down to simple economics,,that is value for money..The Maldives is now really not competitive in the market any more..Very similar holidays can be obtained for far less money,,Be aware>>holiday destination favourites come and go,and its all down to costs..

  12. What do you really care?

    The resort owners get $4m profit apiece even now. They did get $4.02m last year.

    Are you worried that they get a minuscule amount less?

    Either way, you would not be able to get a $, less than Mrf 17/-.

    So whats it to you????

  13. Those poor boys adheeb maheel? could not get all the money they wanted to binge on foreign trips, calling it marketing. Then the heavyweight Mati boys had to step in and demand more funds for their puppets to splurge. These people have really messed things up. The sooner they get out the better for the country,

  14. Beautiful isn't it. Here is the aftermath of a coup. Bring it on Waheed!


Comments are closed.