The Maldives has narrowly failed to reach its target of one million tourist arrivals for 2012, according to figures released by Ministry of Tourism, after a year of political turmoil and an economic slump in key markets, Maldivian media reported.
Despite arrivals falling short by roughly 42,000 tourists, figures released by the ministry have shown that overall arrivals rose 2.9 percent from 931,333 in 2011 to 958,027 in 2012.
Prior to the release of the figures, Tourism Minister Ahmed Adheeb predicted that while there may be a shortfall of roughly 20,000 in 2012, he was confident the ministry could achieve the one million mark in 2013.
“There were a lot of hiccups last year with the political turmoil that the country experienced. It is important that we do not compare ourselves to other destinations like Sri Lanka or Seychelles, as our tourism market is very different. We have a high-value tourism market.
“We will formulate a strategy to go forward this year and later this month [January] we are going to finalise the fourth master plan of tourism. I am sure we will get one million tourists in 2013. I can assure you of it,” Adheeb was quoted as saying to Minivan News earlier this month.