Resort development projects discontinued in 70 islands

Minister of Tourism Ali Waheed has revealed resort development projects in 70 of the 115 islands or lagoons leased by the previous administration have been discontinued.

Speaking at a news conference, Tourism Minister Ali Waheed said the 115 projects initiated by the previous administration include development of tourist resorts and facilities in uninhabited islands and lagoons.

Minister Ali Waheed also shared detailed the information of the projects awarded by the previous administration under lease agreements. The minister said 70 of the projects awarded have had no progress even though the development of the properties have been launched. The minister further said some islands were gazetted to be leased without any lease agreements, adding cases of some of these islands have been forwarded to courts for trial. He also explained the decision of the ministry to inspect 21 lands issued to develop guesthouses by November 17, 2019.

The ministry plans to meet the councils across the country to clarify the stakeholders as part of the efforts to ensure to stop unlawful acts and practices.

The discontinued development projects in the leased islands have cost the state a significant amount in loss, according to the tourism minister. He also discussed making arrangements that allow the public to access islands where resort development has not progressed.

Tourism Minister Ali Waheed said all actions of the administration promote Maldives as a tourist destination and to develop the sector are running according to plans, adding necessary changes and the development of policies in the sector will be completed by April next year.