Maldives’ tourism left high and dry as Chinese arrivals plummet
Although the number of Chinese visitors in 2014 grew 9.6% y-o-y, the growth rate began to falter and then fell 33.1% by January 2015.
The Maldives’ tourism industry is facing a major crisis as arrivals from its top visitor source market China dwindles, according to a report by Taiwan’s Want China Times.
Visitor numbers to the Maldives fell for the fourth consecutive month in January this year, down by 7.8% y-o-y. An industry observer said that the implementation of new tax policies have made the island nation a pricier destination.
The number of Chinese visitors to the Maldives had doubled from 100,000 in 2010. Last number, Chinese arrivals grew to more than 300,000 accounting for about a third of the Maldives’ total visitor arrivals last year, making China the largest visitor source market for the island destination.
Although the number of Chinese visitors in 2014 grew 9.6% y-o-y to total 363,626, the growth rate began to falter from June and in a reversal of previous gains, fell 33.1% by January 2015.
Meanwhile, only 10% of Chinese were repeat visitors, in comparison to 25% of visitors from the UK, Italy and Germany who have made two to ten visits to the destination, according to the Maldives Department of Tourism.
Europe has become the main visitor source market with the decline in Chinese visitor numbers. In the increasingly competitive global market the Maldives must not only attract new customers but must also attract repeat visits, the observer said. (Translation by David)