An staggering 89 percent decline in the amount of funds received as Green Tax has been recorded.
Statistics published by the Finance Ministry show MVR 7.9 million was deposited into the Green Fund during May this year. MVR 77.6 million was deposited during the same period last year.
According to the report, no funds were received as Green Tax from six atolls; being Shaviyani, Meem, Thaa, Laam and Gaaf Dhaal atolls. The largest amount was received from Kaafu atoll, the atoll which has the large number of resorts and guesthouses. While MVR 3 million was received from the capital atoll, MVR 1.4 million was received from Baa atoll. Gaaf Alif atoll contributed MVR 609,085.44.
After Male’ atoll, the second largest amounts in Green Tax were paid by facilities in Vaavu atoll from among the guesthouses. While MVR 29,019.18 was paid by guest houses in the atoll, the largest amounts from among resorts were paid by resorts in the capital atoll. MVR 3 million was paid by the resorts in Kaafu atoll.
Liveaboards and safaris contrbuted MVR 404,664.00, a significant decline compared to the MVR 2.3 million paid by the sector during the same period last year.
The total amount in the Green Fund was at MVR 995 million by the end of May. MVR 25.1 million was spent from the fund during May.
The government introduced the Green Tax during October 2016 to gather funds to tackle environmental issues in the Maldives. US$ 3 is charged as Green Tax per tourist at local guest houses and US$ 6 is charged per head at other tourism service providers. The "Green Fund" was established in January last year to solve environment-related issues in the Maldives.
The Maldives has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic due to which the number of tourists visiting the Maldives have dramatically declined. While the country's borders were closed for almost three months since March, the number of tourists visiting the country are expected to increase by November.