Government to grant tax leniency for tourism entities

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has revealed plans to grant tax leniency for tourism entities if the majority of individuals in employment are locals.

Speaking at the ceremony held to conclude Guesthouse Symposium 2018, President Solih noted the aim of the government is to provide the full benefit of the tourism sector to Maldivians. Noting in efforts to ensure the benefit is fully delivered to locals, the president said efforts are underway to ensure service charge is being given according to the regulations.

Moreover, the president revealed some regulations related to engaging locals in tourism related entities are also being reviewed. He highlighted upon the review, the regulations will be amended to grant an incentive or tax leniency for tourism entities that house more locals than required by law.

In his speech, President Solih highlighted broadening tourism promotion to encompass guesthouse businesses is part of the first 100-day goals of the administration. He noted Maldives should not only be promoted as a luxury destination and said the middle-class market must be advertised as well.

Continuing on, the president pointed out the guesthouse businesses are not currently regulated properly, despite the rapid rate at which the sector has expanded to all parts of the country. He said this could only be achieved by decentralising tourism management and making local councils the main powerhouse of guesthouse businesses.

On a different note, the president shed light on the fact that tourism industry accounts for 70% of the economy of Maldives and stated the importance of further developing the industry to achieve economic feasibility and individual growth.