Maldives tourism shows marginal growth in April

Chandi Dharmaratne

May 22, 2012 (LBO) – The Maldives has seen a slight increase in the number of holidaymakers to the atoll nation in April, after political unrest kept tourists away earlier this year, official data showed Tuesday. The atoll nation, welcomed 79,288 visitors in April, a tad lower than 79,947 who visited the country in the same month last year, according to the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation.

The nation of 1,192 tiny coral islands have established upmarket resorts in over 100 islets catering to well-heeled holiday makers and honeymooners who pay up to $12,500 a night.

From January to April, tourist arrivals edge up 2.3 percent to 335,155 this year, over the corresponding period 2011.

Holidaymakers from China continued to dominate arrivals, with 10,523 visitors in April this year, over 10,165 in the same month last year.

Germany came next with 10,145 holidaymakers in April, up from 9,389 tourists a year earlier.

The traditional markets of the UK dipped 20 percent to 8,934 in April, while tourists from Italy fell 27 percent to 6,130.

The Maldives has converted 105 islands into luxury resorts, with a total bed capacity of 22,593. The industry has a total bed stock of 27,557,