Local guesthouses will suffer US$ 30 mln setback: GAM

A survey has shown that local guest houses will suffer a setback of over MVR 30 million within the next six months.

Guest houses in the Maldives have been closed as a precautionary measure against COVID-19. A survey conducted by Guest House Association of Maldives (GAM) showed while most guest houses were established under loan arrangements, a large amount of money has to be paid as land rent. A significant amount is also spent on employee salaries and utility bills, the results of the survey showed.

Majority of guest houses said 20% of their revenue is paid to the government as Green Tax and Tourism Goods and Services Tax (TGST). An additional 56% of their revenue is spent on staff remunerations and other expenses.

GAM said such a survey had to be conducted at such a critical time in order to advocate for the rights of local guest houses. The results of the survey will be shared with the relevant authorities, the association said.

The COVID-19 pandemic has been affecting the global economy. While 13 cases have been identified in the Maldives, the government has taken stringent measures to curb the spread of the virus.