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Business News/ News / India/  Roadshow, influencer, media trips: How Maldives aims to deal with 'current decline in Indian tourists'
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Roadshow, influencer, media trips: How Maldives aims to deal with 'current decline in Indian tourists'

The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) aims to boost tourism ties with India by launching roadshows and media trips.

The number of Indian tourists travelling to Maldives dropped significantly this year. (HT_PRINT)Premium
The number of Indian tourists travelling to Maldives dropped significantly this year. (HT_PRINT)

The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) aims to enhance travel and tourism between the Maldives and India. The travel body had last week met the Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives in a bid to foster “robust tourism ties" between the two countries. The association also shared its strategy to "bolster tourism initiatives".

"The recent meeting with the Indian High Commissioner signifies MATATO's continued dedication to fostering robust tourism ties between the Maldives and India, paving the way for transformative collaborations that will drive sustainable growth in the region's tourism sector," the MATATO said in a post on X on April 9.

MATATO's statement and meeting with the Indian envoy came at a time when tourism from India to Maldives has continued to decline significantly since January this year.

How Maldives aim to ‘regain decline in Indian tourists’

MATATO said on April 9 that plans are underway to launch a comprehensive roadshow across key cities in India. There are also plans to facilitate influencer and media familiarisation trips to the Maldives in the coming months.

The Maldives' travel body said it looks forward to partnering with prominent travel associations and industry stakeholders across India to further "promote the Maldives as a premier travel destination".

ALSO READ: After ‘disrespectful’ post on the Indian flag, Maldivian politician says sorry, ‘will be more vigilant…’

"...The Association is confident [that] with the support from the industry and the government agencies, Maldives can regain the current decline in Indian tourists," the MATATO added.

'India remains vital market for Maldivian tourism'

The MATATO said on X that India remains a vital market for Maldivian tourism. It noted that India's burgeoning middle class is anticipated to spend a substantial $144 billion annually on international travel by the year 2030.

The MATATO cited Euromonitor's data as showing that the number of outbound Indian travellers is expected to double to 47 million by 2030. Moreover, their spending is projected to increase from $35 billion in 2019 to $84 billion by 2030.

"This growth trajectory positions India to ascend to the sixth-largest outbound travel market globally by 2030, trailing only China, the US, the UK, Germany, and France," the MATATO added.

But Maldives saw a decline in Indian tourists

The number of Indian tourists travelling to Maldives fell significantly this year, as per daily report revealed by the Maldives' Ministry of Tourism.

The decline was witnessed following a controversy over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Lakshwadeep, the 'Boycott Maldives' trend and Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu asking India to withdraw its military troops stationed in the island nation.

The drop was so much so that India's position on Maldives' top tourism market charts plunged from first to sixth spot. Subsequently, China climbed up the chart to achieve the top spot in the Maldives tourism market.

India Vs China in Maldives

On December 31, 2023, tourists from India formed the highest — 11.1 percent — of the total market share of the Maldives tourism sector. India was at the first spot back then, according to the data revealed by the Maldives Ministry of Tourism.

ALSO READ: Indian vs Chinese tourists in Maldives: The rise and fall in last 10 years

Later on January 2, the share dropped to 7.1 percent and by April 10, it further fell to 5.6 percent. As of April 10, India was in the sixth position on the Maldives Top 10 Market list, according to the daily report published by the Maldives' ministry.

Meanwhile, China, which was in the third spot with 10 percent market share on December 31, topped the chart on April 10, with 10.9 percent market share.

 

Maldives Tourism Market share as of April 10, 2024
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Maldives Tourism Market share as of April 10, 2024 (Ministry of Tourism, Maldives)

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Published: 13 Apr 2024, 10:44 PM IST
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