Would we see Chinese tourists in the Maldives for the Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year is the festival that celebrates the beginning of the new year in the Chinese traditional calendar. In China, it’s commonly referred to as the spring festival.
The first day of Chinese New Year begins with the new moon that appears between 21st January and 20th February. In 2021, the first day of the Chinese New Year will be on Friday, 12th February, which is the Year of the Ox.
In 2019, 169 million mainland Chinese tourists traveled overseas for the New Year escape. From the 169 million tourists, 100 million were to Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan. The remaining 69 million traveled to the rest of the world.
In the Maldives during 2019, Chinese arrivals totaled 284,029, accounting for 16.7 percent of the total arrivals. India was the second-largest with arrivals surging by 83.5 percent to 166,030.
Chinese tourist arrivals would help boost the recovery of the tourism industry in the Maldives however the hope remains distant as COVID-19 travel measures remain strict in China.
China’s state council has advised citizens not to travel during the New Year peak holiday season as the country battles to limit COVID-19 spread.
In recent weeks, there have been small outbreaks of cases in rural areas in China. In the north-eastern city of Tonghua in Jilin province, the whole city of around two million has been put in lockdown after 13 cases were recorded earlier this month.
It’s even difficult for Chinese travelers traveling within China as according to China's National Health Commissions rules, people returning to rural areas will need to produce a negative COVID-19 test issued up to seven days before their departure during the Spring Festival.
All arrivals into China from foreign countries are also required to go through a compulsory 14-day quarantine in a designated location and have to be tested for COVID-19.