Tourism Ministry says more than 420,000 tourists have arrived in the Maldives so far this year as the island nation looks to haul back its main economic lifeline after a devastating 2020.

Statistics published by the Ministry showed that till May 15, 2021, 428,400 tourists have visited the country this year. The statistics also showed that 382,775 tourists had arrived in the country in that period in 2020 and 700,493 tourists had arrived in the Maldives in the first five months of 2019.

Looking at the monthly tourist arrival statistics, until May 15th, 38,630 tourists arrived in the country while 91,200 tourists arrived in the Maldives last month.

March brought the highest tourist arrival so far this year with 109,585 visiting the country.

Meanwhile, Russia ranked 1st with the top market share to the Maldives taking 22.8 percent of the total tourism arrival. The country was ranked 6th pre-COVID.

India follows Russia with 20.8 percent of the tourism market but arrivals from India and other south Asian countries are expected to be low following the temporary suspension of their entry into the country as a COVID-19 precaution.

Authorities in the Maldives had said that as a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19, entry is temporarily suspended for tourists originating from South Asian countries, effective from 13th May 2021.

They also said that with this change, all categories of visa holders originating from South Asian countries are now temporarily restricted to enter the Maldives, until further notice.