Our team of data analysts are vigilant in monitoring travel changes and trends, forever on the hunt for signs of a travel recovery in a global market. So, it’s with great pleasure we present a feel-good story about a tropical island rising out of the ashes: The Maldives.

The Maldives Re-Opens for Business

In July 2020, the Maldives announced that their borders have been re-opened to international travellers. The first to arrive on the scene were tourists from the UAE. Then once the respective governments of Russia then Ukraine lifted international travel bans, the two nations have been neck to neck in regards to visitor numbers to the warm and sunny paradise known as The Maldives.

However, this shift in key market marketing hasn’t solely been due to government announcements and flight corridors.

“Our initial strategies for the market had to be completely shifted due to the pandemic. We altered our focus to utilize online & digital platforms to maintain the destination presence and partnered with some of the leading Russian tourism-related organizations, operators, travel agents and travel TV channels in order to spread knowledge about our destination to boost arrivals from Russia,” says Mr Thoyyib Mohamed, Managing Director of Visit Maldives.

A wise move made by Visit Maldives; one they could afford to make as they were duly equipped with data on the ready.

Pandemic shifts in Passenger Profile

As the ForwardKeys data exemplified in our recent analysis of the Dominican Republic, the current pandemic has not impacted who can travel when but also is showing a change in travellers types boarding the planes for your destination. Whereas in the Dominican Republic we saw a shift from romantic couples travelling to solo remote-working travellers similarly in the Maldives there has been a change in the typical passenger profile.

However, in the case of the Maldives, it has now got a growing appeal for families versus couples as the Air Ticketing Data shows an increase in passengers travelling in threes and fours.

Moreover, cabins for international arrivals to the destination in January and February have seen an increase in travellers flying in premium economy, up by 4.8% year on year, and even in business class, up by 4.1% year on year. First-class cabins have also seen a modest growth of 0.6% year on year.

What does this say about travelling families in the 21st century? Or more importantly from new “affluent” source markets?

As Rahm Emanuel, former Mayor of Chicago once said: “Never let a crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”


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