Islands leased for resort development to be inspected by ministry

Tourism Ministry has announced their decision to inspect all resorts being developed across the country.

The ministry's decision comes following the discovery that an individual was exploiting an island named ADh. Fushidhigga, of which ownership is disputed. Three different parties claim ownership of the island.

One of the three parties have been providing tourism services on the island for financial gain for the past 1.5 years. The police and officials from Tourism Ministry has taken custody of the island after the issue recently came to light.

Following the incident, Tourism Ministry announced that 115 resorts currently in development will be inspected by November 17.

The ministry recently inspected over 1000 tourism facilities in the Maldives, including resorts, guest houses, hotels and liveaboards.

The ministry has earlier revealed that resort development work on 70 islands are not moving forwards. The new inspection commenced on Sunday will include the inspection of these islands too, said the minister.

"We will go to these islands and inspect the whole island. Every island has a lease agreement. [Those named on the agreement] are responsible for any activity that takes place on the islands", said Tourism Minister Ali Waheed.

The minister further said it is not the policy of the government to withhold information on the islands.

"We do not follow a a policy of withholding information. We are now awre that there are issues in lease document and such. Therefore, we do not wish for such an incident to repeat even unknowingly", said the minister.

The police have launched an investigation into Fushidhigga island.