Monday, February 26, 2024
Monday, February 26, 2024
HomeWorldChina ranks first on Maldives tourism list, where is India?

China ranks first on Maldives tourism list, where is India?


China overtook Russia and Italy to take first place in the Maldives tourism list in February 2024. China rose from third position to first in the “Top 10 Markets 2024” list, according to a daily report published by the Maldives. Minister of Tourism.

On February 3, a report showed that China topped the list with a market share of 11.2 percent. The ministry’s latest report released on Monday showed data as of February 11. According to the report, China remains in first place, but its market share fell marginally to 10.8 percent.

Credit: Ministry of Tourism, Maldives

Acknowledging the latest statistics, China’s state media Global times reported“…China has once again become the largest source of tourists to the Maldives. Last February, the visa waiver agreement between China and the Maldives came into effect. On Sunday, the Maldives received a record 10,213 tourists, surpassing the number of 9,000 in 2019.”

However, according to data from the Ministry of Maldives, it was on Saturday, February 10, when the Maldives received the arrival of 10,213 tourists in one day. This was the largest tourist arrival to the island nation so far this year.

Credit: Ministry of Tourism, Maldives

China vs India: tourism trend in Maldives this year

Tourists from India to the Maldives decreased, while those from China increased over the past month.

December 31, 2023: India was ranked first in Maldives’ “Top 10 Markets 2023” list as on December 31 last year, with a tourism market share of 11.1 per cent in the Maldives. China ranked third on the list.

January 16, 2024: China followed behind India in the graph showing the ‘Top 10 Markets 2024’ for tourism in Maldives. While China was ranked sixth, India was ranked fourth.

January 21, 2024: China took over India around January 21, 2024 in terms of number of tourist arrivals to the Maldives. India fell to fifth position, while China rose to fourth position.

January 30th: According to an official report published in late January, China ranked third as of January 30, 2024, with a 9.8 percent market share in Maldives tourism. Russia and Italy took first and second position respectively. India is fifth on the list.

February 3rd: China took the first position with a market share of 11.2 percent, while India continues to occupy the fifth position in the list.

Change in Maldives tourism trend

In particular, Maldives has witnessed a change in tourism dynamics over the years. India was among the largest tourism markets for the Maldives in 2023. However, before 2020, tourists from China were leading the tourism charts in the Maldives. More tourists from India, compared to those from China, started arriving in the Maldives from 2020.

As of January 2020, China had a share of 18.31% among the “Top Ten Arrival Markets” in Maldives, the highest that year. However, India ranked third with a share of 7.99%. It was in 2020 that the Maldives saw a surge in arrivals from India.

Diplomatic dispute between India and Maldives

The diplomatic row between Maldives and India broke out after some Maldivian political leaders used “derogatory terms” against Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his visit to Lakshwadeep Islands in India. Tap here to read about the controversy in detail.

Maldivian President Muizzu had formally asked India to withdraw all 88 Indian servicemen from his country. Muizzu earlier said that the first batch of Indian military personnel will be sent back by March 10 and the remaining ones will be withdrawn by May 10.

Meanwhile, India said it will replace its military personnel operating three aviation platforms in the Maldives with “competent” Indian technical personnel. “I would like to say that the current staff will be replaced by competent Indian technical staff,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal was quoted as saying by PTI.

There has also been growing global concern over China’s growing show of military force in the Indo-Pacific region. Beijing has promised more funding for the Maldives since pro-China President Mohamed Muizzu took power in November.

Amid this, AFP quoted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as saying that the Maldives, a nation strategically located in the Indian Ocean, which has borrowed heavily from China and switched allegiance to India, is at high risk of ” overindebtedness”.

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