Tourist arrivals will rise to 3 million with VIA new terminal: Finance Minister
Tourist arrivals will increase from 1.4 million to three million annually once the new terminal being developed at Velana International Airport is operational, declared Minister of Finance Ibrahim Ameer late Monday.
Speaking at a parliament sitting, the minister noted that the previously halted project has resumed with a new contractor.
With an estimated cost of MVR 5.5 billion, development of the new state-of-the-art terminal, measuring 78,000 square metres, commenced last June and is scheduled to be completed in 2022.
"Once the new terminal [is operational], we can increase the number of tourist arrivals to Maldives from 1.4 million to three million", he said.
The current administration aims to increase tourist arrivals to 2.5 million annually within five years.
While the total number of visitors in 2018 stood at 1.4 million, Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed recently declared that the number is expected to reach 1.5 million by November 17 this year as per the ministry's statistics.
Minister Ameer further highlighted during Monday night's sitting that domestic airports are being developed to expand tourism throughout the archipelago.
Meanwhile, Maldives Monetary Authority (MMA) estimated that tourism growth would reach 14 percent by the end of 2019, while the number of nights spent by visitors is expected to reach 15 percent.