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Tourism Diversity Festival to kick-off this month

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Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has announced plans to launch a Tourism Diversity Festival in Maldives; the first one of which will be held this month.

Mausoom made the announcement while speaking at the ceremony held at the Velana International Airport (VIA) on Sunday to welcome this year’s one millionth tourist.

He told Sun that while May-July is traditionally the low season for tourism in Maldives, the number of arrivals now is far higher to call it a “low” season.

Mausoom said the May-July period can be called a “mid-season”, and that the festival is being introduced to boost arrivals during the season.

“Though the new diversity festival will kick-off small this year, it will be far bigger in the years to come, with tourists from across the world eager to visit Maldives just to attend the Tourism Diversity Festival,” he said.

Mausoom said the Tourism Ministry has more such initiatives planned for the future.

This year’s festival will be held in the Male’ area, and will see the presentation of traditions, customs, cultures, and lifestyles unique to islands across Maldives.

“This is something modern-day tourists are eager to experience. But tourists cannot travel all 185 islands of this country. But if we can show all the islands from one place, then they can imagine how much more exciting it is in the islands, if a festival is so exciting,” he said.

The Tourism Diversity Festival will be held by the Tourism Ministry in collaboration with the Heritage Ministry and the Home Ministry.

In addition to the Tourism Ministry, the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) as well as other industry stakeholders are engaged in multiple efforts to boost arrivals.

Statistics show that daily arrivals, which stood above 5,000 visitors during the peak season, has now dropped below 4,000.

source(s): sun.mv

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Travel & Culture

China on track to becoming top source market for tourist arrivals by year’s end

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Tourism Minister, Dr Abdulla Mausoom has said that China, to which Maldives opened borders earlier this year, will become Maldives’ number one source market for tourism arrivals by the end of the year.

So far this year, 133,962 tourists have arrived from China. That is 10 percent of the total 1.3 million tourists.

As of July this year, 78,158 tourists visited Maldives from China. Since then, more than 50,000 tourists have come from the country in the past one and a half months alone.

Russia has the highest number of tourists so far this year. 152,967 tourists have visited from the country so far, or 11.7 percent of the total.

The second most tourists have visited from India, which is 144,041 tourists or 11 percent.

“China, which is only 1.5 percent behind Russia and 0.8 percent behind India, is fast approaching Maldives’ number one tourist market,” Mausoom said.

He said if it goes at this rate, the Chinese market is expected to top the list before the end of the year.

Source(s): sun.mv

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Fee increased for tourist vessels docking in Maldives

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Anew rule has been gazetted to increase the fees of tourist vessels coming to Maldives.

According to the rules, which were gazetted on Thursday, a tourist vessel must arrive in Maldives after arranging an agent to take care of business for the vessel.

Such agentship shall be available to people who have been authorized by the Customs to act as agents for foreign vessels arriving in Maldives under the prescribed regulations. If the agent assigned to the vehicle changes, the Ministry must be notified within three days of the change.

It shall be the responsibility of the agent in charge of any vessel brought into the Maldives under these rules to pay any fees or taxes payable before the vessel leaves. It is also the responsibility of the agent to obtain the permit and pay the fees as per the new regulations.

If the vessel is larger than 20 metres, the cruising permit holders will be required to pay US$100 per day to the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority during the period of docking the vessel in Maldives. Vehicles smaller than 20 meters will not be charged any fee for 90 days.

In addition, foreign tourist vessels docked and operating in Maldivian territory for more than one year will be allowed to do so upon payment of US$3,500 for renewal of the permit.

The ministry said that if the rules are violated, the violator will be fined a large amount. The rules, gazetted Thursday, impose a fine of $1,000 for the first violation, $2,000 for the second violation and $6,000 for more than two violations.

Source{s}: sun.mv

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Most tourists visited from China last month

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Data shows that most people visited Maldives from China last month after the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the statistics released by the Ministry of Tourism, Sri Lanka achieved a growth of 1553.4 percent in the Chinese market in July.

China was the largest tourist market in Maldives until 2019.

Before the outbreak, 284,029 tourists arrived from China in 2019. This accounted for 16.7 percent of the total tourist arrivals that year.

The number of Chinese tourists fell sharply in March 2020 following the closure of the Chinese border during the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend continued until the border reopened this year after three years.

China resumed direct flights to Maldives on January 18, 2023. A total of 92,391 tourists visited Maldives from China as of July this year. The number of tourists that visited Maldives last month was 151,587 people. Out of that 28939 tourists were from China.

China is currently the third-largest tourist market in Maldives.

The Ministry of Tourism said the number of Chinese tourists has been growing rapidly in the past six months since China opened to travel. The ministry said it hoped to achieve pre-pandemic levels as soon as possible.

Source(s): sun.mv

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