Homestay tourism guidelines published in gazette

Homestay regulations have been published in the national gazette.

The Tourism Ministry is preparing to launch the homestay tourism concept in the Maldives next week. The ministry on Thursday published the guidelines and regulations for the program, which mainly focuses on ensuring security, and sustainable growth with minimal negative impacts on local communities. Revenue generated from the homestay program will be taxable at the same rate as local guesthouses. The regulation also delegates several responsibilities to island councils.

The regulations published in the gazette include:
- Guidelines on obtaining permits to run tourist guesthouses under the homestay model.
- The prerequisites to obtaining a permit.
- Inspection guidelines.
- Change of ownership guidelines.
- Required amenities and services.
- Prerequisites for the island on which the property is located.

Homestay licenses will be issued to properties with 1-5 rooms. The regulations lists in detail the standards for the guest rooms and bathrooms and other information. The size of each room, including the attached toilet, must be larger than 120 square feet.

Introducing Homestay Tourism is part of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih's administration's 'Blue Economy' manifesto. Three years into the current term, the administration will launch the concept in two days at a special ceremony in M. Maduvvari. President Solih himself would be participating in the function.