Over 1,900 tourist arrivals recorded on New Year’s Day

Maldives welcoming 500,000th annual tourist in 2020. | Photo: Visit Maldives.

Male’, Maldives – The Tourism Ministry has stated that 1,916 tourists arrived in the Maldives on the first day of 2021.

Statistics published by the ministry showed that 1,916 tourists arrived in the Maldives on January 1st. The government has also revealed its hopes of hosting 1.5 million tourists during the current year. The government welcomed the first tourist arrival of the year at Velana International Airport in a grand manner. Activities to begin the celebrations of the Maldives’ 50th year of tourism were also held at the airport on the same day.

A total of 555,213 tourists visited the Maldives in 2020 reaching the expected target for the year, 500,000 tourists. The Maldives closed its borders to tourists earlier in March as a precautionary measure against COVID-19 and reopened its borders four months later on July 15th. While 174,282 tourists visited in the period that followed border reopening, 380,931 arrivals were recorded prior to border closure.

The most number of tourist arrivals during 2020 were from Russia. While 46,065 arrivals from Russia were recorded last year, the second most number of tourists arrived from Italy, with 45,645 arrivals. Following close behind was India with 44,268 arrivals.

While the island nation does not require tourist to go through quarantine or testing on arrival, all the tourists are required to complete an online health declaration form given by the country and to also provide a negative PCR test result along with it. The PCR test must be taken at least 96 hours prior to departure.

However, due to the newly found Covid-19 variant in United Kingdom, tourists arriving from UK on work visas and locals who spend over 12 hours in UK will have to go through a mandatory 10 day quarantine period in Maldives upon arrival. Students arriving from abroad are also now required to undergo mandatory home quarantine, taking effect from Monday onwards.