Tourist arrivals decline in May

Tourist arrivals decline in May
July 03 10:48 2016

Tourist arrivals fell by -2.3 percent in May compared to the same period last year on the back of a steep decline in Chinese visitors.

Reflecting a continuing downward trend, the number of Chinese holidaymakers fell drastically by -19 percent in May, according to statistics made public by the tourism ministry on Wednesday.

Chinese tourist arrivals have fallen by -11 percent in the first five months of 2016 compared to the same period last year.

Chinese arrivals appear to have peaked in 2014.

In a phenomenon that caught many industry insiders by surprise, the number of Chinese tourists visiting the Maldives had tripled from about 100,000 in 2010 to more than 350,000 in 2014.

But the annual growth in Chinese tourists declined for the first time in 2015 by -1.1.

The tourism ministry had attributed the decline in visitors from China, Russia, and France in 2015 to economic downturns and “other events taking place” in the countries.

China, however, remains the largest source market for the Maldivian tourism industry with a market share of 24 percent.

Arrivals from the second largest market, Germany, also declined by -2.2 percent in May. But total arrivals from the European powerhouse increased by five percent between January and May.

Bucking the downward trend in May, arrivals from the UK meanwhile grew by 5.6 percent in May. A total of 45,643 British tourists visited the Maldives by the end of May, an increase of 11.8 percent compared to the same period in 2015.

Despite the decline in May, tourist arrivals in the first five months of the year increased by 2.5 percent compared to 2015, reaching a total of 540,887 visitors.