Post-Covid tourism in 2021 saw a deluge of Indian travelers flocking to the Maldives, and this upward trend has also remained consistent with the start of this year. According to Dr. Abdulla Mausoom, Minister of Tourism of the Maldives, India has now replaced Russia as the top source market for the Maldives, with the number of Indian travelers exceeding that of all other countries. In fact, traveling to the Maldives is now easier than ever. With direct flights between the Maldives and some of India’s biggest metropolises and government-issued Covid-secured ‘bubble tours’, the Maldives remains one of the top international travel destinations.
With 44,039 Indian visitors in February last year, Indian tourists account for more than 23% of total tourist arrivals to the Maldives, compared to 40,698 (19%) Russian visitors. China follows closely, with Italy. The Maldives also had quite a few travelers from Germany, the UK, France and the US.
The Minister of Tourism further explained the “vaccination break” Maldives Package intended for tourists. “We are planning to introduce a package named 3V – visit, vaccination and vacation,” he said. “Like last year, this will allow people to spend more time in the Maldives while getting their shots.”
Why do Indians choose to travel to the Maldives?
● The Government of Maldives 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 of travel, as opposed to the previous mandate of 72 hours.
● The Ministry of Tourism has launched a campaign entitled “I am vaccinated! With the aim of making the Maldives’ tourism sector the first in the world to be fully vaccinated. As of June 2021, more than 96% of station employees had received the first dose of the vaccine, while 69% had completed both of the prescribed COVID-19 vaccines.
● The Maldives was awarded 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 aims to assure tourists that their travel destination is safe for tourism.
● International travelers are granted a 30-day tourist visa upon arrival at no additional service charge.
● The luxury accommodation of the Maldives is its main asset. The resort islands offer opulent stays in overwater villas, beach villas, lagoon side bungalows and more.
● The Maldives offer the perfect balance between leisure and adventure. Most of the resorts on the island promise luxury services such as inclusive spas, treatment centers, gyms, yoga, as well as water sports, cruises, beach sports and more.
● The Maldives are now recognized as more than just a romantic destination. Beach resorts and comprehensive experiences make this an ideal stopover for vacationing families or groups of friends.
India’s interest in the Maldives has grown over the years
There has been a surge in travel to the Maldives after the first wave of Covid. Data observed by Thrillophilia shows how the rate of travel to the Maldives has gradually increased over the past five years. Due to the halt in travel during the months of lockdown, tourists now seem more interested in vacationing in the Maldives, regardless of the higher costs. The addition of friendly stay options has also made this place a feasible destination for budget travelers to India. This upward trend is also expected to continue through 2022.
Maldives is all the rage among Bangalore locals
Tourists to the Maldives included people from all cities of the country. The main contenders are Bengaluru with a total number of tourists of 26.30% throughout the year, followed by Mumbai with 19.28% of the total, Delhi with 18.17% and Hyderabad with 16.05%. Cities like Pune and Chennai follow closely with 15.29% and 13.09% of the total number of travellers. Ahmedabad accounts for 12.10% of the total number and Jaipur 7.66%. Visitors from cities like Kolkata, Lucknow, Gurgaon, Indore and Kochi together account for 25.24% of the total travellers.
Spending capacity of travelers
Around 45% of the total travelers spend less than INR 1 lakh on their holidays. Travelers looking for a complete vacation usually choose to spend between INR 1 Lakh and 2 Lakh and make up around 37% of the total cohort. Around 18% of travelers opt for a luxury stay at the best resort and spend more than 2 lakhs. Data collected by Thrillophilia noted an increase in traveler spending habits in India following the disruption of travel during the COVID outbreak, with tourists opting to spend more on their post-lockdown vacations.
Duration of holiday in the Maldives
About 25% of travelers are looking for 6-day, 5-night extended vacations, while 33% opt for 5-day, 4-night packages. People traveling to places such as Goa and the Andaman Islands also choose to complement their trip with a shorter stay in the Maldives, and the 4-day, 3-night short packages are the most popular with around 45% of travelers choosing them. .
Type of travelers – Although the Maldives is the most popular destination for honeymoons, other types of tourists such as families, groups of friends or solo travelers also visit the island frequently.
The Maldives continues to be one of the favorite destinations for travelers to India, especially ahead of the Christmas and New Year celebrations. December Maldives packages offered by Thrillophilia are already sold out, while more than 50% of the January packages have also been reserved.