K. Male'
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25 Oct 2023 | Wed 15:35
MP Ahmed Saleem
MP Ahmed Saleem
Majilis
Taxes on low tourism areas
MP Saleem proposes amendment to stop levying taxes on low-tourism areas
 
The amendment to the Tourism Act Amendment Bill was proposed to the parliament by MP Saleem on Wednesday
 
The first reading of the Tourism Amendment Bill proposed by MP Easa was on the agenda for Wednesday’s sitting
 
The proposal was backed by many lawmakers

An amendment has been proposed to the People’s Majlis, to exempt taxes from low-tourism areas and waiver of import duty for a period of 10 years.

The amendment to the Tourism Act Amendment Bill was proposed to the parliament by MP for Hoarafushi constituency Ahmed Saleem during Wednesday’s parliament sitting.

The first reading of the state-endorsed Tourism Amendment Bill proposed by MP for Kendhikulhudhoo constituency Ahmed Easa was on the agenda for Wednesday’s Majlis sitting.

MP Saleem proposed an amendment to the bill, noting that the there are a total of 59,896 tourist beds operational across the Maldives currently, of which 14,254 are in guesthouses across residential islands.

The lawmaker went on to highlight that tourist beds across guesthouses account for 23 percent of the total tourist beds, with 79 percent of the beds being in areas that can be reached within a two-hour period on a speedboat from the capital, Malé City. These regions include Kaafu atoll, Alif Alif atoll, Alif Dhaal atoll and Vaavu atoll.

Stressing that the guesthouse business has expanded across the Greater Malé Region and nearby areas, MP Saleem noted that most of the resorts that are most congested are located in the capital region.

As a reason for this, MP Saleem noted that tourists are hesitant to explore further due to high fares in transportation and travel.

Highlighting that domestic airports are being unveiled across different regions of the archipelago nation with an aim to facilitate the expansion of tourism, the lawmaker questioned whether tourism would actually flourish in these areas, if the costs of airline travel are not reduced.

The lawmaker sought to probe the reasons behind this, as tourism needs to be expanded across the entire archipelago nation, and not just the capital region.

Shedding light on tax issues, MP Saleem noted that investors are not interested in continuing tourism visions as they have to pay taxes from far-flung areas, as much as the capital region. In this route, the lawmaker proposed to halt taxes for 10 years in northernmost and southernmost regions of Maldives where tourism is least developed.

The Hoarafushi MP went on to propose to lower rates of other tourism taxes by 50 percent for resorts in these areas during this period. 

MP for Kendhikulhudhoo constituency Ahmed Easa, Hulhudhoo MP Ilyas Labeeb and other parliamentarians backed MP Saleem’s proposal.

Last updated at: 4 months ago
Reviewed by: Fathimath Zuhaira
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