Chinese Tourist Mr Wang Shuai became the 750,000th visitor to the Maldives in 2016, arriving to a warm welcome at Ibrahim Nasir International Airport this morning.
Staff and officials were on hand to greet Mr Wang after his flight arrived from Xian, including the tourism minister Moosa Zameer and Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives Wang Fukang. All were accompanied to the VIP lounge by bodu beru drums and traditional dancing.
Having declared 2016 ‘Visit Maldives Year’, the arrival of Mr Wang and his family marked the halfway point as the industry aims for a record 1.5 million arrivals. This was his second trip to the country, after previously having taken a honeymoon vacation to the islands.
Representatives of the Maldives Marketing and PR Company (MMPRC) joined airport and airline staff to present a commemorative plaque as well as a free holiday at Meeru Island Resort & Spa on Mr Wang’s next visit to the archipelago.
A number of local and international events have been planned for the year, most notably the Maldives’ representation at the ITB tourism fair in Berlin, while there has been a renewed focus on increasing awareness of the destination in China, home to around one quarter of visitors to the Maldives.
Other events include the Maldives photography competition, as well as the sixth Maldives Surfing Champions Trophy, which is set to start this week at Fours Seasons Kuda Huraa.