Tourist arrivals to the Maldives, where several Sri Lankan hospitality companies have set up operations, fell 2.1 percent year-on-year (YoY) in March 2017 to 112,665 tourists, while increased arrivals for the first three months of the year were weighed down by shorter holidays.
Europe, the main market for the Maldives, fell 3 percent YoY to 61,927 tourists. British arrivals fell 9.3 percent YoY to 11,095 tourists and German arrivals fell 23 percent YoY to 10,216 tourists, contributing to the decline.
Meanwhile, Italian arrivals increased 9 percent YoY to 9,900 tourists, while the French market expanded 8.2 percent YoY to 5,192 visitors and the Russian market grew 43.8 percent YoY to 6,413 tourists.
Arrivals from Asia and the Pacific also fell 2.5 percent YoY to 40,302 tourists, due to Chinese arrivals falling 16.3 percent YoY to 18,203 visitors.
The Indian market grew 15.4 percent YoY to 5,008 tourists, while the Japanese market grew 17.1 percent YoY to 3,955 tourists.
Arrivals from the Americas increased 14.7 percent YoY to 5,440 tourists, mainly from the US, while the Middle Eastern arrival figures declined 8.3 percent YoY to 3,976 tourists.
For the first three months of 2017, arrivals to the Maldives grew 4.3 percent YoY to 359,053 tourists, with a 7.6 percent YoY growth from the European market with 193,687 tourists, while Asian arrivals fell 1.1 percent YoY to 135,928 tourists due to a decline in the Chinese market.
Arrivals from the Americas increased 17.6 percent YoY to 15,488 tourists, while arrivals from the Middle East fell 0.7 percent YoY to 11,326 tourists.
Despite the arrivals growth for the three months, occupancy levels at the Maldivian accommodation units fell to 60.7 percent from 70.9 percent YoY, while the tourist bed nights increased just 0.2 percent YoY to 2.01 million.