Recently, Horwath HTL composed a market report on the Maldives, which reveals interesting facts about this tourist-friendly destination. The report shows that Arrivals have grown at an overall rate of about 8% between 2008 and 2018. It is the highest rate-yielding market in the Asia Pacific, and 17 new resorts are expected to open in 2019.

Although there is a chance for oversupply in the market, in the long-term, with the country’s unique geography and one-island-one-resort concept, market occupancy should correct itself assuming no significant political headwinds.

Here are some interesting statistics about the Maldives’ economy ;

  • From 2008 to 2018, foreign tourist arrivals have grown at a ten-year compound average annual growth (CAAG) rate of 8.1%.
  • In 2010, Year-on-Year (YoY) growth was the highest (20.7%)
  • In 2015, the growth in tourist arrivals YoY was less robust at 2.4%
  • In 2016 and 2017, the Maldives has since recovered with foreign arrivals growing by about 4% (2016) and 8% (2017)
  • In 2018, there was an increase in foreign arrivals (to 1.48 million), while YoY growth was at a slower pace of 6.8%

The Maldives gets its income from many countries. As of 2018, the top five source countries are as follows: Number one is China, with 283,116 arrivals as of 2018, and holds 19.1% of market share. Second is Germany, with 117,532 arrivals (2018), and holds 7.9% of market share. Next is the UK, with 114,602 arrivals (2018), and holds 7.7% of the market share. Following up is Italy, with 105,297 arrivals (2018), and holds 7.1% of the market share. Last but not least, India, with 90,474 arrivals (2018), and holds 6.1% of the market share.

By the end of 2018, the Maldives had a total of 787 registered accommodation facilities: 139 resorts(18%), 12 hotels (2%), 491 guesthouses (62%), and 145 safari vessels (18%). The number of registered beds for 2018 totalled to 43,025 with resorts accounting for the majority (71%).

It is expected that the Maldives’ market occupancy will fall around 55% in the US$1,000 category in the short- to mid-term. In the US$600 - US$1,000 category, market occupancy should not exceed 65%, and in the below US$600 category, occupancy should not exceed 70%. Rate-wise, the market should not expect large bouts of growth given the stiffer competition compared to five years ago. However, the market should remain as one of the highest rate-yielding markets in the Asia Pacific. As supply growth tapers and demand continues to grow because of the destination’s unique geography, expect the overall resort market occupancy to improve in the long run.