A 9.7% increase in tourist arrivals recorded for the first quarter of 2014
At the end of first quarter of 2014 tourist arrivals to the Maldives saw an increase of 9.7% compared with the same period of 2013, reaching a total of 321,561.
Europe was the leading market generator taking account of 51.3% of all arrivals to the Maldives with a sum total of 321,561 tourists during the first quarter of the 2014. This, however was 2,550 tourists less than that of 2013 arrivals for the same period, resulting in a negative growth (-1.5%). The European shares were mainly controlled by sub regions Western Europe (21.0%) and Central/Eastern Europe (12%). Although the overall European arrivals for the quarter saw a decline in arrivals, Northern Europe attained a positive growth of 5.2% with a total of 29,399 tourists. Looking at individual markets, Germany took lead securing 7.6% shares during the first quarter of 2014. U.K market strengthened its position at the second place taking hold of 7.2% shares with an additional 700 tourists and a growth of 3.3% over 2013 for the period. The Russian market lost its number one position to step down to the third place with 7.0% shares. In terms of market growth, outstanding results were recorded from Greece (+40.1%), Bulgaria (+27.1%), Netherlands (+26.9%), Israel (+26.8%), Romania (26.4%) and Finland (+21.3%). Within the traditional markets to the Maldives from the region, while the United Kingdom (+3.3%) and Spain (+10.1%) performed well with positive growth rates, markets such as Russia (-6.9%), Germany (-4.4%), Italy (-4.1%), Switzerland (-3.9%) and France (-1.8%) all posted negative growths at the end of first quarter of 2014.
Asia and the Pacific recorded an impressive growth rate of 24.4% at the end of first quarter of 2014 bringing in additional 26,606 tourists to reach a total of 135,839. This region accounted for 42.2% of arrivals to the Maldives at the end of first quarter of 2014. All the sub regions posted positive growth rates for the period, with South East Asia (+76.4%) as the leading sub region in terms of market growth. North East Asia (33%) injected over two third of the total shares accounted forAsia and the Pacific Region. Best performing individual markets from the Asia Pacific Region were China contributing 27.2% shares, India and Japan with 3.1% shares each and Korea with 2.2% shares for the period. In terms of market growth, while the Korean market posted an impressive 60% growth at the end of first quarter, the Chinese market was increased by 24% with an additional 16,960 tourists compared with the same period of 2013.
Americas was the third leading market generating region with 3.3% shares at the end of first quarter of 2014. The region posted an impressive growth rate (+32%) for the period, with an additional 2,558 tourists. Middle East market share stood at 2.6% during the period. This region also posted a significant growth of 25.8% for the period. With an insignificant market share of 0.3%, the Africa region posted a marginal growth of 1.3% at the end of first quarter of 2014 compared with the same period of 2013.
At the end of the first quarter of 2014, there were a total of 445 tourist establishments with 30,375 beds registered at the Ministry of Tourism, out of which on average 293 establishments comprising of 26,999 beds were operational during the period. These include 105 tourist resorts (22,998 beds), 18 hotels (1,596 beds), 115 guest houses (1,556 beds) and 55 safari vessels (849 beds). The total tourist bed nights of these establishments increased by 5.4% during the period reaching a total of 2,048,964 nights. Occupancy rate was recorded to have an increase of 1.9% attaining an average of 84.5% for the period. However, average duration of stay of the tourists saw a decline of 0.3% with 6.4 days at the end of the period.