Villa Resorts closed temporarily; only Paradise Resort operational

All resorts being operated by Villa Hotels and Resorts, with the exception of one resort, have been closed temporarily.

The only resort currently in operation is Paradise Island Resort.

The remaining resorts were closed due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. While the tourism industry is expected to be severely affected as a result of the pandemic, the decision to close the resorts was taken by Villa to minimize costs, AVAS has learnt.

The closed resorts include Sun Island, Fun Island, Holiday Island and Royal Island.

A large number of local employees work at business tycoon and MP Gasim Ibrahim's resorts under the Villa Group. It has been reported that a large number of employees have been instructed to take no pay leaves for the time being.

No official statement has been received on the reports thus far.

Recently, Villa Group cut the salaries of its employees by 10 - 50%.

A circular signed by the owner and Chairman of the VIlla Group said the company generates revenue through its resorts, and the decline in tourist arrivals due to the coronavirus has affected the company's revenue. As a measure to minimize expenditure, the salaries of the company's employees will be decreased effective next month, it said.

The tourism industry of the Maldives is being significantly affected due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is estimated that a loss between US$ 135.9 million and USD 446.6 million will be caused to the industry during the current year.

Current forecasts show the economic pace of the country will slow down significantly as a result. While the economic growth was estimated to be at 7.5%, it is now expected to fall between 0.5% and -5.6% this year.

13 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Maldives thus far.