Maldives sees 42% drop in Indian tourist arrivals

06 May 2024 | 22:06
Indian tourists walking along the beach in Hulhumale'

Tourist arrivals from India to the Maldives have seen a significant decline of 42.2% in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year.

India, traditionally the leading tourist market for the Maldives, has experienced a notable drop in visitor numbers following diplomatic tensions.

At the start of 2024, three high-ranking government officials made derogatory remarks on social media targeting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

In response, India initiated an anti-Maldives campaign, urging Indian citizens to refrain from visiting the island nation as tourists.

According to statistics released by the Maldives Ministry of Tourism, the decline in Indian tourist arrivals has been stark.

In January 2023, 18,612 tourists from India visited the Maldives, whereas in January 2024, only 15,003 tourists arrived, representing a 19.4% drop.

Similarly, February witnessed a 40.9% decline, with 19,497 arrivals in 2023 compared to 11,522 in 2024.

March and April experienced even sharper declines, with arrivals plummeting by 54% and 55.6% respectively.

As a result of these developments, India has now dropped to the sixth position in terms of tourist markets for the Maldives.

China, Russia, England, Italy, and Germany have surpassed India in terms of tourist arrivals.

Despite the decline in Indian visitors, overall tourist arrivals in the Maldives have reached 772,651 till April this year, with China emerging as the leading tourist market for the island nation.