Maldives Tourism: Indian Visitors Decline, Chinese Rise

Maldives Tourism

Indian tourists’ arrival in the Maldives has dropped by 33% due to diplomatic tensions, according to a report from Maldivian website Adhadhu.

The Maldives Tourism Ministry data shows a drop from 41,054 last year to 27,224 this year. India, once the second-largest source market for Maldivian tourism, now ranks sixth with a 6% market share.

This contrasts with previous years when India dominated the Maldives tourist market, welcoming over 200,000 Indian visitors annually.

The diplomatic discord between India and the Maldives began after President Mohamed Muizzu’s November 2023 appointment, focusing on safeguarding Maldives’ sovereignty.

Three Maldivian deputy ministers’ derogatory remarks towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sparked a diplomatic row and protests in the Maldives.

The Maldivian government suspended them for their remarks. As India continues boycott campaigns and cancellations of bookings to the Maldives, China is emerging as the new frontrunner in the tourism sector, witnessing a surge in tourist arrivals.

The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) surveyed to understand the impact of a boycott by Indian visitors, but the findings were not made public.

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