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Remarks by H.E. Ambassador Wang Lixin at the 2024 “Happy Chinese New Year” Cultural Performance

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Honorable Mrs. Sajidha Mohamed, First Lady of the Republic of Maldives,

Honorable Mr. Ahmed Munaz, State Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information and Arts,

Honorable Ministers, MPs, party leaders,

Your Excellencies, Distinguished guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,

Very good evening.

First of all, I’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of you gathering here tonight for the “Happy Chinese New Year” Cultural Performance, celebrating the Chinese New Year of the Dragon. In particular, I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the First Lady Honorable Mrs. Sajidha Mohamed for gracing this occasion as Guest of Honor.

The Spring Festival, a happy time for family reunion, is China’s most important traditional festival. Its cultural significance has gone beyond borders. It has now become a celebrated holiday in many countries. In December 2023, the United Nations officially listed Spring Festival as a UN holiday, highlighting its global resonance. The Spring Festival of the Year of the Dragon offers the world a window on China’s economic vibrancy. During the just-ended 8-day Spring Festival holiday, China’s domestic tourism market saw 474 million trips, marking a 19 percent increase comparing with the same period in 2019. China’s domestic tourism spending hit 632.6 billion yuan, up by 7.7 percent from the same holiday period in 2019. China’s box office revenue in the 8-day holiday totaled 8 billion yuan, marking a new record high. Meanwhile, China saw around 13.52 million inbound and outbound trips during the holiday, marking a 3-fold increase from the same holiday period last year. The booming outbound travel also brought dividends of the holiday consumption and joy of the Lunar New Year to the world, including Maldives. A large number of Chinese tourists have come here for Spring Festival holidays.

As we embark on the Year of the Dragon, symbolizing auspiciousness, wisdom and strength, I’d like to extend my sincere wishes for happiness, prosperity and good fortune to all of you.

The year 2023 has witnessed continuous progress and fruitful outcomes in China-Maldives relations. H.E. State Councilor Shen Yiqin, special envoy of President Xi Jinping, attended the inauguration ceremony of President Muizzu and visited the Maldives, opening a new chapter in China-Maldives relations. At the invitation of President Xi Jinping, President Muizzu paid a successful state visit to China early last month. The two heads of state announced the elevation of bilateral ties to a comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, providing strategic guidance and drawing a grand blueprint for future development of China-Maldives relations.

Over the past year, Our two nations have maintained close high-level exchanges, fostered ever-enhancing political mutual trust, achieved steady and sustained progress in high-quality BRI cooperation, and conducted vibrant cooperation on local government and people-to-people exchanges. In particular, with the gradual opening and resumption of direct flights between China and the Maldives, China has re-established its position as one of the leading source markets of tourists. Friendly cooperation between China and the Maldives is ushering in broad prospects, and we have full confidence in the bright future of our bilateral relations.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear friends,

Culture, as a vital bridge of friendship between our two peoples, plays a pivotal role in sustaining and enhancing China-Maldives relations. The cultural performance tonight will offer you a glimpse of the richness and diversity of Chinese culture, foster greater appreciation and understanding of China’s cultural heritage and modern dynamism.

I would like to take this opportunity to express sincere thanks to the cultural troupe from Chongqing, a beautiful and municipal city of China, which is also famous for hot pot. Carrying forward excellent traditional Chinese culture, their performance will definitely sow the seeds for China-Maldives friendship, make positive contribution to promoting cultural exchanges and enhance people-to-people friendship between our two countries.

My heartfelt thanks also go to Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Information, and Arts and National Center for Arts for their strong support to make this show happen. Meanwhile, my thanks go to the Maldivian artists who will join the performance and make it more colorful. I believe that the artists from China and the Maldives will jointly present a culture feast to us.

In conclusion, I wish the “Happy Chinese New Year” Cultural Performance a complete success and the friendship between China and the Maldives grow stronger and stronger.

Thank you!

Travel & Culture

Fuvahmulah city council initiates tourism zone development project

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The Fuvahmulah City Council has launched a significant project aimed at developing a tourism zone within the city, covering an expansive area of 12 hectares. An agreement laying the groundwork for this transformative endeavor was recently signed between the Fuvahmulah City Council and Regional Airports, symbolising a pivotal step towards its realization. Mayor Ismail Rafeeq and the Managing Director of Regional Airports, Ahmed Mubeen, officiated the contract signing.

The comprehensive two-year agreement delineates the collaborative responsibilities of Regional Airports and the city council, encompassing investor recruitment, project design, and development. Mayor Ismail Rafeeq articulated his vision for the project, emphasizing the establishment of recreational service centers alongside accommodations for tourists.

With a focus on attracting more visitors to the city, Mayor Rafeeq highlighted ongoing efforts to bolster Fuvahmulah’s air transportation infrastructure. Plans are underway to commence physical work on the development before the year’s end, underscoring the council’s commitment to swift progress. Additionally, discussions are ongoing to explore the potential expansion of Fuvahmulah’s airport to accommodate jet landings.

Fuvahmulah City is renowned for its acclaimed diving spots, drawing a significant number of tourists seeking immersive experiences. Presently, the city boasts 21 guesthouses, catering to the influx of visitors flocking to explore its natural wonders.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Over 600,000 visitors, 15% growth in tourist arrivals

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The Ministry of Tourism has released its latest daily reports, indicating that tourist arrivals in the Maldives surpassed six hundred thousand by March 31. Statistical figures reveal a significant 15.3% increase in tourist arrivals within the first three months of this year compared to the same period in 2023, with 604,004 tourists visiting the country in 2024 compared to 523,928 in 2023.

The tourism industry’s growth trajectory was particularly notable in February 2024, which witnessed a record-breaking number of tourist arrivals, exceeding two million. On average, the Maldives welcomes approximately 6,265 tourists daily, with visitors spending an average of 8 days during their stay.

The breakdown of tourist arrivals by month is as follows:

In January – 192,385 tourist arrivals
In February – 217,394 tourist arrivals
In March – 196,227 tourist arrivals

Chinese tourists constitute the largest portion of total tourist arrivals so far this year, accounting for 11.2% of the overall figure, with 67,399 visitors. Following China, Russia and the United Kingdom stand out as the next highest sources of tourists, with 61,752 and 58,382 arrivals, respectively.

In conclusion, while the Maldives has already welcomed over six hundred thousand tourists, the government remains committed to achieving its target of attracting two million tourists. To achieve this goal, the government plans to initiate various advertising projects and programs aimed at promoting the Maldives as a premier tourist destination.

Source(s): PsmNews

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Minister reveals growth in tourism within 2024’s first quarter

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Minister of Tourism Ibrahim Faisal has announced a significant surge in tourist arrivals with the number of tourists that visited the country during the first quarter of the year increasing by 15.1% in comparison to the first quarter of 2023. He revealed the statistics in a situation in which the Former President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih claimed a decline in the rate of tourism arrivals.

Sharing the statistical figures of the tourism arrival on a social media platform, Minister of Tourism Faisal stated that the total arrivals of the first quarter increased by 15.1% while highlighting the increasing occupancy during January and February compared to the same term in 2023. According to the data, 596,724 tourists visited the country by March 30, while 518,347 tourists visited the country during the same period in 2023. The minister observed from the statistics that the total number of tourists arrived up to now mounts to 148,000 making this a remarkable increase of 7.6%.

While the tourism industry continues it’s consistent growth, February 2024 witnessed a record-breaking number of tourists arrivals with more than 2 million flocking to the country, as per statistics. The data shows that on average, the Maldives welcomes approximately 6,186 tourists daily, with visitors spending an average of 8 days during their stay.

Source(s): PsmNews

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