Guesthouse businesses to face loss of USD 28.9 million due to COVID-19

Guesthouse Association of Maldives (GAM) has forecast a loss of USD 28.9 million for the guesthouse businesses in Maldives due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

GAM initiated a survey to determine the impact on guesthouse businesses over the global pandemic. The survey was participated by 441 guesthouses from the 600 guesthouses operating in Maldives. The survey reported 66% of the guesthouses are operating with funds acquired from loans, while 76% of the guesthouses are operated in leased lands.

GAM said one major challenge noted by the operators is having to pay rent and taxes to the government during the period of shutdown. Statistics from 2019 shows 26% of the income from guesthouses are paid for utilities and tax for the government, while 56% was spent as salary and other expenses.

Furthermore, GAM expressed it is difficult to determine the drift of COVID-19 on guesthouses, adding about 6 months will be required to recover from the losses. GAM said the guesthouses will face a loss of USD 28.9 million during the period.

While all excursions across Maldives have been banned by the Director-General of Public Health following the declaration of State of Public Health Emergency in Maldives, almost all guesthouses businesses are on halt.