2008 News Archive - Holidays - Tourists flocking back to the Maldives

27 12 2006

It seems as though tourism is once again a burgeoning industry in the Maldives, as the island group closes in on complete recovery from the havoc wreaked by the 2004 tsunami.

The coral archipelago, situated in the Indian Ocean, 480 kilometres south-west of India and 720 kilometres west of Sri Lanka, consists of 1,900 islands, of which 59 are tourist resorts. But the 2004 tsunami struck around twelve islands, killing 108 people and laying waste to 5,535 houses.

Maps of the islands had to be redrawn after the disaster, as parts of the country remained submerged under seawater, but it seems the tourist industry has had the resilience to float to the surface.

The Indo-Asian News Service reports that tourist arrivals in 2006 have increased by 61 per cent year-on-year to reach 490,000 – a figure not too far from the pre-2004 high of 600,000.

Officials are now looking for tourists from around the world to return to the Maldives in 2007, after the number of visitors to the region dwindled by 35.9 per cent in 2005.

Tourists to the Maldives will fly to the country's capital Male, from where they will be whisked away by speedboat to one of the archipelago's Robinson Crusoe-esque islands.

Visitors should expect to pay anything between £75 and £5,000 for a night at one of the Ocean nation's numerous resorts.

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