Tourist arrivals during April remained largely unchanged compared to the same period last year, registering a marginal decline of -0.1 percent.
Visitor numbers reached 119,713, down from 119,774 the previous year, according to statistics released Tuesday by the tourism ministry.
Despite the dip, total arrivals are 12.7 percent higher than the first four months of 2017 as growth exceeded expectations during the peak season in the first quarter.
Some 539,816 tourists were recorded as of April, up from 478,827 last year.
Continuing the downward trend, the number of Chinese holidaymakers dropped drastically by -28 percent during April. China’s market share has now fallen to 16 percent, reflecting a -6.9 percent decline so far this year.
However, China remained the top market followed by Italy (nine percent), UK (eight percent), Germany (eight percent), and Russia (six percent).
Visitors from traditional European markets accounted for 56 percent of all arrivals, offsetting the decline in Chinese arrivals. The major European markets have recorded double-digit growth so far this year.
But Germany’s ambassador to the Maldives Jorn Rohde said tour operators were questioning the trustworthiness of visitor numbers.
In April, the average occupancy rate of the industry stood at 72 percent.
The Maldives welcomed a record 1.3 million tourists last year, after the government fell short of reaching a target of 1.5 million the past two years.