The number of Chinese holidaymakers visiting the Maldives increased in November for the first time in three years.
Some 21,195 Chinese tourists were recorded during the month, up 11.8 percent from November 2016, according to statistics released Tuesday by the tourism ministry. However, a total of 286,612 Chinese arrivals as of November represented a seven percent decline compared to the same period last year.
After rapid growth from 2010 onward, Chinese arrivals peaked in 2014 with about 364,000 visitors and have been steadily falling since late 2015. Despite the downward trend, China remains the top supplier with a 23 percent market share.
With the rebound of the Chinese market, total tourist arrivals in November registered a robust double-digit growth rate of 15.2 percent, reaching 120,506 visitors.
After surpassing the one-million mark in October, some 1.2 million tourists visited by the end of November, up 6.8 percent from 2016. The average occupancy rate stood at 60.5 percent.
Despite the continuing growth in arrivals, the central bank observed in its latest quarterly bulletin last week that “total tourism receipts for the [third] quarter are estimated to have dropped by 2% in annual terms, which can be attributed to a reduction in the sector prices.”
The occupancy rate also fell due to the opening of 13 new resorts, which increased the operational bed capacity of resorts by 15 percent to a total of 27,955 beds.