Tourism Minister, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has delivered the opening remarks at the Travel Connect webinar. The webinar held by the High Commission of India focused on further developing closer tourism linkages between Maldives and India.
All panelists highlighted the proximity between India and the Maldives and the air-travel bubble. Furthermore, the Travel Connect webinar focused on talks about travel packages catering to all budgets as well. Minister Mausoom emphasized the importance of the Indian tourist market to the Maldives. Furthermore, the minister has stated the India-Maldives air bubble contributed to the increase of tourist arrivals to the Maldives.
The participants of the Webinar connecting Maldivian and Indian Travel Associations included; Outbound Tour Operators Association of India, Travel Agents Association of India, Indian Association of Tour Operators, The Society for Intensive Travel Excellence, Confederation of Indian Industry, Association of Travel Agents Maldives, Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators, Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation, and Ministry of Tourism, Maldives.
The Air Bubble initiative between India and Maldives commenced on 25th August 2020. The initiative is also a first for India within this region to boost tourism, enabling a regular path of weekly flights between the two countries. Moreover, flights from Air India and Indigo already started operations to the Maldives from New Delhi and Bangalore. In addition to that, further destinations are to be confirmed as well. This will also aid the anticipated increase of arrivals from the Indian Tourist Market.
Based on the arrival figures of 2019, India ranked in the 2nd position of the highest performing markets to the Maldives. Furthermore, India is a key focus market in the recovery of tourism in the Maldives. Likewise, the target is to achieve pre-pandemic growth levels. As per the latest statistics from the Maldives Immigration, the island nation has welcomed over 18,867 arrivals since the border reopening as of 1st October 2020.