The Maldives recently welcomed an increase in visitor arrivals from the UK, with 2016 figures revealing an 11% increase in UK tourists during the first eight months.

This equates to 76,083 UK tourists visiting the destination compared to 68,519 in 2015.

Visitor numbers are also expected to show a further increase and, to support this fast expanding tourist industry, Visit Maldives has announced a number of new tourism developments taking place next year.

Located on the island of Gan in Addu Atoll, Gan International Airport was originally built by the British as a staging post for its Royal Air Force during the 1950s before being handed over to the Maldivian Government in 1976. The airport’s infrastructure has recently undergone an ambitious $50million redevelopment project including expansion work to the runway so it now reaches 3,400m in length and 60m in width, enabling it to handle long-haul operations and direct connectivity to the regional resort network through a seaplane base.

As a result of an agreement with Addu International Airport Company, seaplane transfers will now be available with Trans Maldivian Airways (TMA) from Gan International Airport to nine resorts within the greater Southern region. The new seaplane operations will further enhance the holiday experience of travellers to the southern regions of the Maldives, transferring guests to and from contracted resorts on scheduled flights from Gan, as well as provide full- and half-day excursions to uninhabited islands or sandbanks.

The Hon. Moosa Zameer, minister of tourism for the destination, said: “We are extremely pleased to see an increase in visitor figures from the UK, especially as this is a very exciting time for the Maldives as we further enhance our tourism infrastructure with new developments.

“We will also be expanding our accommodation offering with ten new resorts opening in late 2016/17 and we look forward to hopefully welcoming even more UK holidaymakers next year.”

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