The Maldives welcomed over 1.67 million tourists in 2019, Managing Director of the state-owned Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation Thoyyib Mohamed said on Friday.

Maldives surpassed its 2019 target of attracting 1.5 million visitors by November last year. The government has raised it's target to 2 million visitors for the year 2020.

Meanwhile, the Public Service Media, quoting Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed, said that tourist arrivals by sea would be counted in future to keep accurate records.

The Maldivian government hopes to expand capacity in the tourism sector and attract 2.5 million tourists by the end of its term in 2023.

Tourism is the largest industry in the Maldives, contributing about 38 percent to the island country's GDP in 2018.