Home to some of the most mind-blowing views on Earth, the Maldives have become synonymous with paradise throughout the past few decades.
For many, the archipelago is the number 1 tropical destination on their travel bucket list, which explains why the 115 mi² (298 km²) country is used to welcoming millions of visitors every year.
However, for the first time since the pandemic slump, the Maldives are not only catching up to previous tourism records but surpassing them by a notable margin.
In the first three quarters of 2019, the archipelagic state welcomed some 1.25 million visitors.
During the same period in 2023, the Maldives saw 1.4 million visitors enter its borders, marking a whopping 12% increase.
Here are the reasons why this iconic tropical country is attracting more tourists than ever:
What initially catapulted the Maldives to the heights of international attention was the country’s otherworldly natural beauty, and that has yet to change.
Between the pearly white sandy beaches, turquoise waters, and vibrant coral reefs that create a postcard-perfect setting, it’s difficult to pinpoint just one facet of Maldivian beauty that has captured the minds and hearts of so many travelers across the globe.
The atmosphere created by the overwater villas, underwater restaurants, and vivid sunsets is simply unmatched, and I’m not even going to dive into the views you’ll get to enjoy once the bioluminescent planktons illuminate the pristine coastlines.
Throughout the years, the Maldives have also become a symbol of opulence, which can be attributed to the many all-inclusive resorts that dot the region.
These high-end hotels have opened their doors on private islands, offering a level of exclusivity and indulgence that’s hard to match elsewhere.
Beyond that, these resorts come with the promise of state-of-the-art amenities, private pools, personalized services, and, most importantly, breathtaking views reserved exclusively for you.
Beware, though, that this level of luxury comes at a hefty price point, and the Maldives are one of those bucket list items most travelers need to save for.
All-inclusive hotels charge anywhere between $250 and $1500 per night; however, food and drinks are included in the fee of your stay.
Moreover, most resorts in the area cater to all types of travelers, be it big families looking for child-friendly amenities or couples finally getting to take that romantic getaway.
Knowing that no matter your travel preferences, you’ll get exactly what you’re looking for makes the high price point seem a bit more worth it.
What was once an off-the-beaten-path destination that only a lucky few could access has now become an international hotspot that offers tourists an endless array of options when it comes to getting in and out of the country.
There’s no shortage of international airlines (Emirates, British Airways, and Air Canada, just to name a few) that operate direct flights to Malé, the capital city, making it easier than ever for travelers to reach this tropical paradise.
Moreover, the Maldives’ fantastic visa-on-arrival policy ensures a swift entry process that makes visiting the country a breeze.
If you’re still struggling to think of a time and cost-efficient way to get to your destination, though, you’ll be happy to learn that many of the private resorts on the archipelago offer boat and seaplane transfers from the nearest airports.
Unique Cultural Experiences
While the Maldives are probably most famous for their luxury resorts, the truth of the matter is that there’s a lot more to experience beyond the confines of these lavish hotels.
That’s why I’d highly recommend going out to explore the island you’re in, engaging with the local communities, and making it a point to try the local cuisine.
High-end resorts that look over pretty beaches can be found almost anywhere else on Earth; however, the local fish markets and antique mosques speak of the nation’s vivid and authentic character.
Once you’re done exploring, don’t forget to get your adrenaline pumping a bit by partaking in one of the many water sports offered in the region, be it snorkeling, surfing, or diving.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com