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5 Reasons Why This Exotic Paradise Island Destination Is Breaking All-Time Tourism Records

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The year 2023 was a huge bounce-back year for travel, with many countries around the world boasting record figures for tourism arrivals.

One of the latest of those countries is the exotic archipelago nation of the Maldives.

Official figures from the Maldives Tourism Ministry show that the country attracted almost 1.9 million tourists in 2023, which represents a new all-time record.

woman walks along boardwalk in stunning maldives resort with beach huts

So, just what is it about this scattering of coral islands and atolls in the Indian Ocean that has got travelers so keen on visiting right now?

Unique Nature And Experiences

The Maldives is home to some of the most incredible nature on earth, with locations such as Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve and Addu Nature Park offering incredible scenery and thriving wildlife.

It’s also home to a unique culture, and even if you stay in a luxury resort, it’s quite easy to experience and absorb it.

Visit Maldives suggests learning some phrases from the official language Dhivehi, and then using that to get to know locals at markets or restaurants – you could even nab yourself a cooking lesson or partake in a friendly game of soccer on the beach.

stunning sunset over beach huts at a luxury resort in the maldives

And if you prefer a more active stay, you can try your hand at surfing with board hire and instruction available, or even head out on a fishing trip with a local guide.

Luxury Resorts To Die For

As you would expect from a remote island paradise destination, the Maldives has some truly breathtaking luxury resorts to choose from.

The latest figures show that there are somewhere in the region of 165 different resorts, 11 hotels, and 772 guest houses to choose from.

Imagine the most stunningly perfect photo you’ve ever seen of an exotic beach location on Instagram – barely believable beach huts, alluring azure seas, pristine white sands, and gorgeous palm trees – all of this is just part of the scenery in the Maldives.

aerial view of luxury resort in the maldives with a pool

Divine Diving

Dotted around the atolls of the Maldives are some of the best diving locations on the planet.

From casual snorkelers to experienced divers, the waters around these exotic islands will thrill visitors with the abundance of vibrant aquatic wildlife with everything from whale sharks through to starfish.

One of the most interesting dive sites is the Shipyard in Lhaviyani Atoll, which is the home of two 40-year-old sunken ships that have become home to swathes of different corals and fish including yellow sweeper, Napoleon wrasse, and butterfly fish.

man diving next to colorful coral at Shipyard in Lhaviyani Atoll in maldives

Dives can be organized by resorts, travel companies, or local dive guides – all of which will give you the information and guidance you need.

It’s Getting Easier To Get There

There’s no escaping the fact that the Maldives is a long-haul for American travelers.

Situated about 400 miles south of the southern tip of India, this is not a flight for the unseasoned adventurer.

However, there are more choices than ever when it comes to flights to the Maldives from the U.S.

One of the most popular is a route from JFK Airport in New York with Turkish Airlines – this flight has just one layover in Istanbul before flying on from there to the capital of the Maldives, Male.

There are also similar one-stop flight options via the Middle East with Etihad Airways, Emirates, and even American Airlines.

beautiful islands in the maldives viewed from plane window

At the time of writing, return trips for these flight paths varied in cost from around $1,200 per person through to $3,000, with the lower end of that scale seeming surprisingly affordable.

Multi Award-Winning

The popularity of the Maldives alone shows that it is becoming one of the best places to visit, and a series of high-profile awards have backed this up.

The country has won the World’s Leading Destination Award at the World Travel Awards for the last four years.

aerial view of male city the capital of the maldives

Beyond that, many of its resorts are multi-award-winning places to stay, with the most recent examples being Villa Resorts (Luxury Vacation Brand of the Year, Luxuri Magazine), You & Me Maldives (Agoda Circle Choice Award), and Kuda Villingili Maldives (Best Honeymoon Hotel, White Awards).

view of tropical island in maldives with fish in foreground

This might not be the most important thing for travelers, but it shows that investment and effort has been made by the Maldives to ensure visitors have a great experience there.

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