Govt. to reopen islands for resort bids

The government is preparing to open several islands up for bid for establishing resorts this July after a long hiatus.

The government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih had temporarily ceased leasing islands for tourism after they began administration last November, in order to review and research the policies through which islands were previously leased. The current government has claimed that the former government did not lease the islands under a feasible policy.

In a news conference held by the Tourism Ministry on Tuesday, Minister Ali Waheed said the leasing of islands is being re-commenced after close review.

“We have nearly completed our manifesto, and our research on tourism in the Maldives. We are expecting to put islands up for open bidding before July. This will be done after necessary joint discussion and review with other relevant ministries and stakeholders”, said Ali Waheed.

The Minister noted that areas that do not currently have resorts will be prioritized in leasing islands, as recommended by island councils and citizens.

“The Male’ zone has already been flooded. if current development is applied, the number of beds would increase to 10,000. We have made a promise of 2000-beds to the Central Zone. If this is done, the bed number will increase to 10,000 beds. We will address this at the Economic Council. We aim for sustainable tourism”, sad Ali Waheed.

The Minister said President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih’s aim is to expand tourism to areas where tourism has not reached thus far.

“Thilafunmathi [ Laamu atoll] has been neglected by all governments, in addition to Addu. Fuvahmulah Huvadhoo and Thaa atoll”, noted the Minister.

According to the latest statistics released by the Tourism Ministry, 140 resorts are currently in operation in Maldives. While 132 tourism-related projects are ongoing, 140 resorts are currently being developed. Work at 54 islands have been at a halt for various reasons.