Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom revealed the ongoing revision of the projected number of tourist arrivals to Maldives.
When estimating the state budget for 2021, the government anticipated 1 million tourist arrivals. However, as numbers exceeded expectations at the start of the year, the state projected arrivals to be between 1 million to 1.5 million.
Dr. Mausoom informed Dhiyares that considering the speed of vaccine rollouts and the number of arrivals, although the ministry revised its projection, arrivals are expected to be 1 million for the purpose of the budget.
"We expect 1.5 million tourist arrivals this year. We announced it towards the end of the year. We did say it was a certain environment, so instead of downward, an upward revision might occur".
However, the minister stated that contrary to the previous projection, the decline in arrivals has led to the need for a downward revision, anticipating a possible decrease in arrivals.
Although the ministry predicted the most arrivals in May/June, as arrivals have always been highest during May/June in Maldives, there was a significant decrease due to COVID-19.
The minister further stated that May/June and July are the low season, and are compensated by tourists from China and South Asia. Dr. Mausoom attributed the major decline in May/June arrivals to borders being temporarily closed for South Asians before arrivals from China.
According to the minister, the new figure will be publicized after the revision. Although arrivals will be less than 1.5 million, the government's goal of 1 million tourists for the budget will be achieved.