With an impressive 14.9% increase in arrivals during the month of May 2014, tourist arrivals to the Maldives continue to flourish, reaching half a million at the end of the period January to May 2014. The Maldives welcomed a total of 518,166 tourists for the period, registering a strong growth of 11.9% over the same the period of 2013.
Although Asia and the Pacific Region took lead as the market generator during the month of May 2014, Europe remained as the market leader with 48.3% shares at the end of the period from January to May 2014. The region brought in an additional 34,544 tourists during the month of May, which was a decline of -1.8% compared to that of May 2013. Tourist arrivals from European region reached a total of 253,602 at the end May 2014, registering a marginal growth of 0.7% for the period. With the negative growth seen from sub regions, Central/Eastern Europe (-10.3%) and Western Europe (-5.6%) during the month of May 2014, the overall growth rate from both the regions resulted negative growths of -5.1% and -0.6% respectively, for the period from January to May 2014. Best performance for the month of May was recorded from East Mediterranean Europe with a positive 41.5% increase. While Southern Europe posted a +15% growth during the month of May resulting in a positive growth of 5.3% at the end of the period January to May, Northern Europe registered a growth rate of 4.3% for the month of May leading to an increase of +7.2% for the period in review. In terms of market shares, the two sub regions which posted negative growths covered most of the arrivals from Europe. While a total of 105,923 tourists taking hold of 20% shares was recorded for the Western Europe, Central Eastern Europe took hold of 10.6% shares with 54,691 arrivals. When looking at individual market performances from Europe, top five markets were Germany, U.K, Russia, Italy and France. The German market maintained its position at the top with 8.3% shares. With an additional 8,365 tourists in May 2014, the total arrivals from Germany for the period from January to May 2014 was 43,188 resulting in a slight increase of 0.9% for the period. The U.K market did well with a 4.6% increase at the end of May 2014, supplying 7.7% to market shares for the period. The Russian market deteriorated further posting a negative growth of 7.5% for the period from January to May 2014. Market share of Russia stood at 6.4% at the end of the period. Italy and France remained at 4th and 5th positions respectively with 6.0% share and 5.9% shares. While the Italian market has shown improvements posting a positive growth of 1.7% at the end of May 2014, the French market performed with a negative growth of 3.6%.
Asia and the Pacific region has been showing outstanding results throughout the last five months of 2014. The region overtook Europe, to be the leading market generator during the month of May 2014 taking hold of 55% of total arrivals to the Maldives during the month. With a total of 50,354 tourists in May, the total arrivals from the Region for the period from January to May 2014, was recorded to be 229,847, which was a 24.7% increase over the same period of 2013. The region represented 44.4% of all arrivals during the period January to May 2014. All sub regions posted above average growth rates with South East Asia as the leading sub region with 64.1% in terms of growth rate. Over 75% of all arrivals from Asia and the Pacific and 33% of total arrivals to Maldives during the period from January to May, came from sub region North East Asia. By individual market performances, China continues to show remarkable performances maintaining its number one position as the market leader with more than 27% shares. At the end of May 2014, a total of 141,249 tourists arrived in Maldives from China, which was 23.3% increase over the same period of 2013. India, Japan and Korea were the second, third and fourth markets respectively from this region. Indian market saw an increase of 13.1% during the period in review contributing 3.5% as market shares at the end of the period. The Japanese market improved its performance posting an impressive growth rate of nearly 16% during the month of May leading to a positive 7.1% growth rate for the period from January to May 2014. A strong growth of 45% was recorded from the Korean market during this period with the arrivals reaching a total of 14,016 at the end of May. Market share of Korea stood at 2.7% at the end of the period.
Americas, which was the third leading region with 3.4% shares, brought in 17,470 tourists to the Maldives during the period January to May 2014. A healthy growth of 32% was recorded from this region for the period. The U.S. market took hold of over 60% of arrivals from the region with a total of 10,483 tourists at the end of the period. The Middle East market share was increased to 2.7% maintained at 2.6% during the period. This region also posted an impressive growth of 24.2% for the period. Double digit growth rates were recorded from all major markets from the region. Africa region market share remained at 0.6% at the end of May 2014. Although a negative growth (-6.8%) was recorded from this region for the month of May 2014, the overall growth rate remained positive at 1.4% at the end of the period from January to May 2014.
At the end of May 2014, the total number of registered tourist establishments reached 460 with 30,510 beds, out of which on average 291 establishments with a sum total of 27,004 beds were operational during the period in review. These include 105 tourist resorts (23,029 beds), 17 hotels (1,510 beds), 112 guest houses (1,539 beds) and 57 safari vessels (927 beds). The overall bed nights of these establishments saw an increase of 5.9% during the period reaching a total of 3,262,667 nights. While the occupancy rate recorded an increase of 2.3% to attain an average of 80.2% for the period, average duration of stay of the tourists saw a decline of 0.4%. The average duration of stay for the period was 6.3 days.