Tourism on the Maldives

Tourism on the Maldives

the Maldives recorded a total of 555,000 tourists in 2020, ranking 122nd in the world in absolute terms.

That smaller countries regularly perform lower in a comparison of the absolute number of guests, is obvious. By putting the tourist numbers in relation to the population of the Maldives, the result is much more comparable picture: With 1.1 tourists per resident, the Maldives ranked 44th in the world. In South Asia, it ranked 1st.

In 2020, the Maldives generated around 1.41 billion US dollars in the tourism sector alone. This corresponds to 26.07 percent of its the gross domestic product and approximately 8 percent of all international tourism receipts in South Asia.

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Back to overview: Maldives

On average, each of the tourists arriving in 2020 spent about 2,411 US dollars.

Tourism on the Maldives

Development of the tourism sector on the Maldives from 1995 to 2020

The following chart shows the number of tourist arrivals registered on the Maldives each year. Anyone who spends at least one night in the country but does not live there for more than 12 months is considered a tourist. Insofar as the survey included the purpose of the trip, business trips and other non-tourism travel purposes have already been excluded. The number of people passing through within the same day, and e.g., crew members of ships or flights are also not considered tourists in most countries. If the same person travels in and out more than once within the same year, each visit counts again.

The red line represents the average of all 8 countries in South Asia.

Tourists per year on the Maldives

Revenues from tourism

In 1995, tourism revenues amounted to 211.00 million USD, or about 52.88 percent of the gross national product. This corresponded to about 315,000 tourists at that time and roughly 670 USD per person. Within 25 years, the country's dependence on tourism has increased slightly. Before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, sales were $3.17 billion billion, 56.53 percent of gross national product. Thus, each visitor spent an average of $1,862 on their vacation on the Maldives.

In 2020, tourist receipts plummeted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the $3.17 billion billion (2019), only $1.41 billion billion remained. This is a 56 percent decrease on the Maldives.

Tourism receipts on the Maldives per year

All data for the Maldives in detail

YearNumber of touristsReceipts% of GNPReceipts per tourist
2020555,0001.41 bn $37.61 %2,539 $
20191.70 m3.17 bn $56.53 %1,862 $
20181.48 m3.05 bn $57.61 %2,058 $
20171.39 m2.77 bn $58.29 %1,994 $
20161.29 m2.64 bn $60.29 %2,053 $
20151.23 m2.69 bn $65.48 %2,181 $
20141.21 m2.81 bn $76.03 %2,333 $
20131.13 m2.42 bn $73.51 %2,153 $
2012958,0002.03 bn $70.40 %2,121 $
2011931,0001.97 bn $70.86 %2,112 $
2010792,0001.71 bn $66.19 %2,163 $
2009656,0001.47 bn $62.81 %2,245 $
2008683,0001.56 bn $68.63 %2,283 $
2007676,0001.52 bn $81.09 %2,241 $
2006602,0001.24 bn $78.40 %2,051 $
2005395,000826.00 m $71.00 %2,091 $
2004617,000471.00 m $38.39 %763 $
2003564,000402.00 m $38.21 %713 $
2002485,000337.00 m $37.57 %695 $
2001461,000327.00 m $37.58 %709 $
2000467,000321.00 m $51.41 %687 $
1999430,000314.00 m $53.29 %730 $
1998396,000303.00 m $56.10 %765 $
1997366,000286.00 m $56.27 %781 $
1996339,000266.00 m $59.06 %785 $
1995315,000211.00 m $52.88 %670 $

Our data on tourist numbers, revenues and expenditures are based on information from the World Tourism Organization. However, to ensure international comparability, the data for some years or countries were manually researched and corrected if they obviously included visitors without overnight stays. In these cases, the data were taken from the official communications of the respective national tourism authorities.

The World Tourism Organization additionally points out that in some countries, the number of tourists is only counted at airports, while in others they are also counted at border crossings or even hotels. A comprehensive and reliable indication is therefore hardly possible in any country.

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