Post-Covid, tourism in 2021 saw a deluge of Indian travelers flocking to Maldives, and this upward trend has remained consistent with the start of this year as well. According to Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Maldives’ Minister of Tourism, India has now replaced Russia as the top source market for Maldives, with the sheer number of Indian travelers surpassing that from all other countries. In fact, travelling to Maldives is now easier than ever. Thanks to the direct flights between Maldives and some of India’s biggest metropolitans and Covid-safe ‘bubble tours’ issued by the government, Maldives remains one of the top international travel destinations.
With 44,039 Indian visitors as of February last year, Indian tourists account for more than 23% of total tourist arrivals in the Maldives, compared to 40,698 (19%) Russian visitors. China follows close behind, along with Italy. Maldives also had quite a few travelers from Germany, UK, France and USA.
The tourism Minister further expounded on the ‘vaccination break’ Maldives package planned for tourists. “We plan to introduce a package named 3Vs – visit, vaccination and vacation,” he said.”Like last year, this will allow people to spend longer time in Maldives while also getting the vaccine shots. ”
Why are Indians choosing to travel to Maldives?
● The Maldives government has eased travel restrictions at all international airports in the Maldives for international travel. Indian tourists must have a negative RT-PCR test taken within 96 hours before travel, as opposed to the previous 72 hour mandate.
● The Ministry of Tourism launched a campaign called ‘I’m Vaccinated!’ With the goal of making the Maldives tourism sector the world’s first fully vaccinated one. As of June 2021, more than 96% of resort employees had received the first dose of the vaccination, while 69% had completed the two of the prescribed COVID-19 vaccines.
● Maldives achieved the Safe Travel Stamp in September, 2020. Undertaken by the World Travel and Tourism Council, the Save Travel Stamp is a global safety and hygiene campaign that seeks to assure tourists that their travel destination is safe for tourism.
● International travelers are privy to a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival at no extra service cost.
● Maldives’ luxury accommodation is it’s biggest asset. The resort islands offer opulent stays in water villas, beach villas, lagoon side bungalows, and much more.
● Maldives offers the perfect balance between leisure and adventure. Most of the island resorts promise luxury services such as inclusive spas, treatment centers, gyms, yoga, as well as watersports,cruises, beach sports and much more.
● Maldives has now been recognized as more than just a romantic destination. The all-encompassing resorts and experiences here makes it a perfect stop for vacationing families or groups of friends as well.
India’s interest in Maldives Grown through years
There was a sharp increase in travel to Maldives after the Covid first wave. Data observed by Thrillophilia displays how the rate of travel to Maldives has been gradually increasing over the past five years. Due to the halted travel over the months of lockdown, tourists are now seemingly more interested in a vacation in Maldives, irrespective of the higher costs. The addition of pocket friendly stay options further has also made this place a feasible destination for the budget travellers in India. This upward trend is most likely to continue through 2022 as well.
Maldives a hit amongst people of Bengaluru
Tourists in Maldives included people from all cities across the country. Top contenders include Bengaluru with a total tourist count of 26.30% throughout the year, followed by Mumbai with 19.28% of the total, Delhi with 18.17% and Hyderabad with 16.05%. Following close behind are cities like Pune and Chennai with 15.29% and 13.09% of the total travelers. Ahmedabad accounts for 12.10% of the total number, and Jaipur for 7.66%. Visitors from cities like Kolkata, Lucknow, Gurgaon, Indore and Kochi together account for 25.24% of total travellers.
Spending capacity for travellers
Around 45% of total travelers spend less than INR 1 lakh on their vacation. Travellers looking for a comprehensive vacation generally choose to spend between INR 1 Lakh and 2 Lakh, and make up about 37% of the total cohort. Around 18% of travelers opt for a luxury stay in the best resort, and spend over 2 lakhs. Data collected by Thrillophilia noted a rise in the spending habits of travellers in India following the travel hiatus during the COVID outbreak, with tourists choosing to spend more on their post lockdown vacations.
Duration of Vacation in Maldives
Around 25% travelers look for extensive vacations spanning 6 days and 5 nights, while 33% opt for 5 days and 4 nights packages. People travelling to places such as Goa and Andaman islands also choose to complement their trip with a shorter stay in Maldives, and short packages of 4 days and 3 nights are the most popular with about 45% of travelers opting for them
Type of travellers- Although Maldives is most popular as a honeymoon destination, other types of tourists such as families, friend groups or solo travellers also travel frequently to the island.
Maldives continues to be a top favorite destination among travellers in India, especially with the approaching celebrations of Christmas and New Year looming ahead. The December packages for Maldives offered by Thrillophilia are already sold out, while more than 50% of the January packages have been booked as well.