Tourist Arrival to the Maldives Declines in January 2015
Tourist arrivals to the Maldives recorded a considerable decline during the month of January 2015 by a negative 7.8%. This was the fourth consecutive month where a negative growth was recorded in tourist arrivals to the country. While the Maldives received over 105 thousand tourists in January 2014, the tourist arrival count in January 2015 was 97,073 some 8 thousand tourists less. The negative growth recorded in arrivals was reflected in all other tourism indicators during the month of January 2015.
By regions, Europe reclaimed its position as the number one market generator to the Maldive with a notable increment to its market shares from 43.9% at the end of December 2014 to an impressive 54.1% during the month of January 2015. With a total of 52,545 tourists, the region registered a marginal growth (+0.5%) for the month of January 2015, compared with that of 2014 due to the heavy decline (-20.5%) recorded from the Central/Eastern Europe. All other sub regions within Europe posted positive growths during the month of January 2015, with East Mediterranean Europe (+24%) displaying the strongest growth and Western Europe (+1.5%) showing the weakest performance. Southern Europe and Northern Europe, both registered double digit growths of +17.5% and +15.1% respectively, during the month of January 2015. Western Europe was the leading sub region within Europe contributing 20% to the total arrivals to the country during the month of January 2015. Central/Eastern Europe although recorded a negative growth, was the second largest sub region within Europe, accounting for 12.3% of all arrivals to the country in January 2015. While Northern Europe with 10.3% shares was the third leading sub region within Europe, Southern Europe followed closely behind with 10.1% shares. East Mediterranean Europe accounted for 1.4% of all arrivals to the country in January 2015.
Giving way to Europe, Asia & the Pacific region stepped down to the second position as the second largest market generating region to the Maldives in January 2015. With 11% less than that of end December 2014, market share of the region dropped to 37.4% in January 2015. A total of 36,311 tourists were recorded to have visited the Maldives during the month, which was 20.6% less than that of January 2014. By sub regions within Asia and the Pacific, North East Asia recorded a heavy negative growth (-28.6%), While Oceania recorded a marginal growth of 0.7%, arrival growth from South East Asia was recorded to be +6.7%. South Asia posted the best results within Asia Pacific region in terms of growth rate (+15.6%). With over 26% shares, North East Asia remained as the largest sub region to the Maldives during the month of January 2015. Market share of South Asia was recorded to be 5.9%, and South East Asia captured 3% shares in January 2015. Oceania accounted for 1.8% of total arrivals during the month.
Middle East overtook Americas to become the third largest market generating region to the Maldives during the month of January 2015. Market share of Middle East increased from 3.1% at the end of December 2014 to 4% in January 2015. The region performed well with a robust growth of 38.3%. Americas was the second weakest performed region during the month of January 2015. With a negative growth of 5.5%, market share dropped from 3.4% at the end of December 2014 to 3.1% in January 2015. Africa region performed with a positive 13.7% growth in January 2015. However, the region also recorded a drop in its market shares from 0.7% at the end of December 2014 to 0.6% in January 2015.
In terms of individual markets, China remained as the leading market to the Maldives, taking account for nearly one fourth of all arrivals to the country in January 2015. Arrivals to the Maldives from China started slowing down during mid-2014 and negative growths were registered since August that year. January 2015 was recorded as the worst performed month for the Chinese market to the Maldives so far, with a strong negative growth of 33.1%. China being the number one market to the Maldives, the negative growth registered from the market was reflected in the total arrivals to the country. Italy was the second largest market to the Maldives during the month of January 2015. The Italian market registered outstanding results during the month with an impressive +16.9% growth rate in January 2015 compared with that of January 2014 and the market share increasing to 8.3%. With a healthy 7.4% shares, the U.K market was the third largest market to the Maldives in January 2015. The U.K. market has also done well with a significant growth of +6.6% during the month of January 2015 compared with that of 2014. Followed closely behind was the German market with 7.3% shares. Germany also posted positive results with a positive 8.7% growth rate for the month. Russia was the fifth largest market to the Maldives in January 2015 with 6% shares. The Russian market was the worst performed market during the month of January 2015 with a strong negative growth of 38%.
The Maldives had 529 registered accommodation establishments with a total bed capacity of 32,087 in January 2015. These include 112 resorts (24,151 beds), 19 hotels (1,704 beds), 231 guest houses (3,397 beds) and 167 safari vessels (2,835 beds). Out of these registered establishments, a total of 302 (27,520 beds) were operational during the month. Operational capacity included 106 resorts with 23,247 beds, 15 hotels with 1,468 beds, 107 guest houses with 1,569 beds and 74 safari vessels with 1,236 beds. The total tourist bed nights of these operational establishments in January 2015 was 630,840 which was a drop (-7.8%) compared with that of January 2014. Occupancy rate also registered a decline of 8.5% during the month. However, the average duration of stay remained uniform at January 2014 level with 6.5 days, this however was an increase compared with the 6.1 days of end December 2014.