Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has emphasized the importance of introducing a loan scheme and housing scheme especially for the employees working in the tourism sector.
The largest percentage of income of the Maldives originates from the tourism industry. However, the lack of loan and housing schemes targeted for those working in the tourism industry has always been a concern of those working in the field.
Speaking at the parliament committee on oversight of the government, Minister Ali Waheed said Maldives is the most popular tourist destination in the world, and the employees working in the tourism industry must be valued and appreciated.
"Therefore, I request from you to appreciate those working in the tourism sector the same way doctors, nurses and teachers are appreciated. I request to amend laws such that loan schemes and housing schemes are made available for those working in resorts", said the Minister.
Minister also stated those working in the tourism industry face a lot of challenges, with the main complaint being not receiving enough leaves to be with their families. Seeking a solution for the issue is of utmost importance, said Waheed.
As such, the Ministry has shared with Education Ministry via a letter the ministry's opinion on re-arranging the academic calendar in such a way that the end of year holidays do not coincide with the high-season at resorts. The ministry is working on the issue, said the minister.
"After the work is concluded, we will inform the relevant government authorities and the parliament. I believe this change can be brought about - it would allow resort employees the opportunity to spend time with their families", he said.
The service charge given by the resorts is also an issue, noted the minister. He further added that he is hopeful of positive changes on the issue after inspection of all resorts is concluded and regulatory changes are brought about.