Many investors are expressing interest in developing resorts after the government decreased the land rents for tourism islands, the Tourism Ministry has said.
The land rent on resort islands in some parts of the Maldives was reduced following an amendment to the Tourism Act in December 2020. The government decided to reduce the land rent to mitigate the financial losses caused to resorts by implementing the minimum wage.
Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom told AVAS that investor interest declined due to the economic slowdown amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the government's development projects in the country's north and south have attracted many investors, with several parties expressing interest in building resorts, he said.
"Now, we have gained the confidence of many investors thanks to the RTL ferry system, which connects islands, water, and sewerage projects, as well as the development of airports," Mausoom said.
Noting that the change in the land lease will bring development to the north and south, Mausoom said the more resorts open; the more job opportunities will be created in these areas. He said tourism in the islands can be expanded as a good ferry system now connects the islands.
The minister further said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has promised to establish 8,000 beds in the north and south of the country. He expressed confidence that the goal would be achieved.
"In addition to newly developed resorts, a reliable ferry system will provide additional tourist beds in islands. So the target of 8,000 beds will be reached," Mausoom said.
The minister had earlier told parliament that land rent is not the best way to generate revenue for the state. He said that the reduction in land rents would make it easier for many resorts to open sooner and would increase tax revenue significantly.