Maldivian tourism operators brace for winter demand surge with some resorts selling out

The Maldives, one of the few tourism destinations that is thriving in the post-pandemic era, is anticipating a surge in tourist traffic this upcoming winter, with some resorts already fully booked ahead of the peak season.

A senior official at Diethelm Travel shared that forward bookings are painting a rosy picture for the sector, with tourism and hospitality operators seeing “unbelievable” demand for rooms.

With its one-island-one-resort concept, the Maldives touts itself to be a Covid-safe haven

Some resorts will be running at full capacity this winter, he said, adding that “it is going to be one of our best winter seasons”.

Maldivian tourism authorities said there were a total of 114,896 arrivals last month, higher than 107,620 in September 2019. Russia, Germany, the UK, Italy and the Middle East markets are doing well, with Monday (October 4) recording 6,000 arrivals, the country’s highest single-day arrivals to date.

Pent-up travel demand coupled with the fact that it remains one of the few destinations open to international tourists amid the pandemic have made the Maldives a holiday hotspot.

Furthermore, with its seclusion and signature one-island-one-resort concept which allows for social distancing, the Maldives is considered one of the safest destinations to visit during this time.

Industry officials said that with the growing demand for winter vacation packages, resorts have stopped offering discounts.

Shafraz Fazley, managing director at Viluxur Holidays, is also optimistic about winter season bookings. Some resorts are expecting a full house, he said, adding that Russia is strong, Saudi arrivals are growing in numbers while a relatively new market, Brazil, have been showing promising returns.

He said there has been an increase in visitors from the US staying at a range of properties, from three to four-star accommodation to super luxury resorts.

Shaushan Aan Shafeeq of Maldives Holiday Collections said they were excited at the prospects of a promising winter season, and expects more airlines to resume flying to the island nation by year-end and in 2022.

2022 marks the destination’s golden jubilee of tourism with Thoyyib Mohamed, managing director at state-run Visit Maldives, saying it will be a historic year with many activities being planned by the industry.

As of Monday, the Maldives has recorded 85,042 Covid-19 cases and 231 deaths.

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