China’s Charter Flights Revitalise Maldives Tourism as Operations Resume

Wang Lixin, the Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, announced the launch of charter flights between China and the Maldives. This agreement, established during President Mohamed Muizzu’s visit to China, improves connectivity and bolsters tourism prospects between the two countries.




Malé, Maldives – The initiation of charter flights between China and the Maldives on February 14th, announced by Wang Lixin, the Chinese Ambassador to the Maldives, marks a significant step forward in enhancing bilateral tourism relations. This collaborative effort stems from an agreement reached during President Mohamed Muizzu’s recent diplomatic mission to China.


Ambassador Wang shared the news during a meeting with local media, emphasising China’s commitment to supporting President Muizzu’s vision of reinstating China as the primary source market for Maldivian tourism. The inaugural charter flight took off from Fujin City, China, on February 14th, with Ambassador Wang hinting at potential commercial flight expansions, pending increased demand.


President Muizzu, upon his return from the diplomatic visit, revealed fruitful discussions with Chinese officials aimed at reviving China as the leading source market for Maldivian tourism. The talks also explored possibilities for bolstering direct flight connectivity between the two nations.


In addition to the charter flights, President Muizzu announced the commencement of flights by China’s Xiamen Airlines in March. The government unveiled strategic plans to promote the Maldives in the Chinese market, aligning with The Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation’s (MMPRC) strategic tourism promotion activities. These initiatives are tailored to elevate the Maldives’ appeal as a premier tourism destination in the Chinese market.


As part of MMPRC’s efforts, the corporation confirmed participation in the ITB China 2024 fair, scheduled for May 27-29 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre. This event targets the Chinese travel market, showcasing the Maldives’ offerings to industry professionals and travelers alike.


Before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, China stood as The Maldives’ largest tourism market. Seeking to revitalize this vital relationship, the government aims to increase tourist arrivals by 40 percent of pre-pandemic levels.


Tourist arrivals from China have been steadily rebounding, approaching pre-pandemic levels following the gradual reopening of global borders. In 2023, the Maldives welcomed over 172,163 tourists from China, reinforcing its position within the top three source markets for The Maldives.


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