Simplification of visa regime unlikely pushes the flow of tourists to Maldives
The Russians can now stay on the Maldives without a visa up to three months. The agreement on mutual cancellation of visa regime was signed by the foreign ministers on June 25. Experts of the tourist market considered the event as an important, but it is unlikely to significantly increase the flow of tourists.
“The agreement between the two countries is a political event, as the Russians previously had enough 30 days to stay on the Maldives. The destination is rather limited by the number of entertainment facilities,” says Arthur Muradyan, the Director General of Space Travel operator.
In the winter season 2018/2019 the Maldives showed an increase. The General Director of Pantheon tour operator Anatoly Garkushin says that in his company the increase was two-fold. “Perhaps it was the fact that Aeroflot has launched daily flights to Male last year. In addition, many new hotels have been built there and there is no such shortage of accommodation as it was before. Occasionally the problem occurs for peak dates. Very many resorts want to work with tour operators and offer good prices,” says the expert.
The expert also stressed that the Maldives always offer a large number of bonus programs: “Until December 20 and after January 10 there are a lot of them”.
Coral Travel, MITS and Sodis operators completed the winter season with plus results. Russian Express operator said that sales growth for the New Year holidays was 15%, and January-March period grew by 20% compared to the same period last year. Tez Tour reported that the winter season remained at the level of the previous year.
Despite all the constraints, tour operators are noting the demand for the destination not only in winter but also in summer. “Due to the weather conditions the problem months on the Maldives are May and June. And from July-August we have a growth of the demand,” said Lyudmila Kalinina.
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.