Investment firm JLL has been keeping an eye on the investment that’s going into the Maldives, which, they note, has been getting a lot of attention, with a total investment of approximately US$450 million by the end of May 2019.
The Maldives’ investment market is traditionally dominated by Asian investors looking to make money from a 5 star resort in Maldives or the like, but, now, it’s attracting cross-border capital from the US and Europe. In the first half of 2019, the JLL reports, investment from these new sources amounted to US$300 million, which is much higher, from the annual average of US$120 million.
Head of Investment Sales, Asia, JLL, NihatErcan, says that the core markets across the world are tightening across the world, with Europe, in particular, seeing more activity, which means that demand is high, and is set to stay that way with investors spreading out to find opportunities with better yields. Ercan notes that clients outside Asia are showing increasing interest in the Maldives, thanks to its reputation as a sought-after destination.
Many a 5 star resort in Maldives has been enjoying more traffic, with the islands experiencing a tourist boom. In the first quarter of 2019, arrivals into the country went up by 15% from the prior year’s, which is the highest it’s been in 15 years, with 190,713 arrivals, compared to 2018’s 163,000, according to the country’s Ministry of Tourism.
As for specific markets, arrivals to the Maldives from Europe went up by 9% in January alone, with tourists from Italy, Germany and UK, combined, accounting for about a quarter of arrivals (26.2%) in Q1, while arrivals from the US in the same time going up by 44% compared to the prior year.
European hotel chains have been opening in the Maldives in order to meet demand. Baglioni, the luxury Italian resort chain will be opening its first property in the region, its first outside of Europe, while the Movenpick brand opened its first hotel in the Maldives back in November.
JLL VP Charlie MacIldowie says that European hoteliers are seeing an opportunity to capitalise on the familiarity of brands with travellers and tour operators, and, as a result, they expect more investors from the US and Europe to enter the Maldives’ market within the next 12 months.