COLOMBO, July 2 (Xinhua) -- Tourist arrivals to Maldives have passed the half million mark with a hefty 27.3 percent of arrivals originating from China, Tourism Ministry said in its latest data on Wednesday.
In total, 518,166 tourists have visited Maldives in the first six months of 2014. This is an 11.9 percent increase compared to the corresponding period of last year when 463,174 tourists visited the string of islands in the Indian Ocean, which is famous for its pristine beaches.
China currently holds the record for the most tourist arrivals from a single country with 141,249 arrivals this year so far, accounting for 27.3 percent of the tourists who entered the country.
Most of the tourists this year came from European countries. A total of 253,602 tourists from Europe have visited the country so far this year, most of them being from Germany.
Tourist arrivals from the Asia Pacific region in the first five months of this year have also increased by 24.7 percent to 229,847, compared to the same period of last year.
Maldivian economy is largely dependent on tourism, which accounted for 28 percent of GDP on average in the past five years, and generated 38 percent of government revenue in 2012.