The Maldives economy expanded in the first quarter of 2014, driven by tourism growth predominantly from China, the Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) said in its latest report on Monday. Total tourism receipts in the first three months of the year increased by 10 percent compared to the first quarter of 2013, reaching earnings of 801.1 million U.S. dollars, the Central Bank revealed.
On arrival trends in the first quarter, the bulletin noted that the 10 percent annual increase in arrivals was “entirely driven by the significant increase (24 percent) in arrivals from the Chinese market.” Chinese tourists accounted for 27 percent of arrivals during the first quarter of 2014. According to the Tourism Ministry, the Chinese market expanded by 24 percent with an additional 16,960 tourist arrivals compared with the same period of 2013.
Statistics from the Tourism Ministry showed that 331,719 Chinese tourists visited the Maldives last year, a 44.5 percent increase from the previous year, accounting for 29.5 percent of all tourist arrivals in 2013. The report noted that all major markets from Europe recorded a decline in arrivals. While arrivals from Germany, the main source market from Europe, and Italy both declined by four percent, arrivals from France declined by two percent.
The Maldivian economy is largely dependent on tourism, which accounted for 28 percent of GDP on average in the past five years, and generated 38 percent of government revenue in 2012.