(YEET) — In most destinations, being a million tourists short over the previous year would be a huge cause for concern, the result of a horrible natural disaster.

But that was before 2020, and before the coronavirus pandemic changed the way we travel forever.

The Maldives, an Indian Ocean island archipelago practically synonymous with romance, normally sees north of 1.7 million visitors per year.

In 2020, the maldives  had around 500,000.
And despite the significant decrease, it marks one of the most successful tourism stories amid the pandemic.

While many other destinations slammed their borders closed, the Maldives chose to fully reopen to travelers from any country, regardless of the status of the virus there, in July 2020.