Local guest house owners Sunday met with the newly appointed Tourism Minister to discuss challenges faced by the sector.
The virtual meeting arranged by the Guest House Association of Maldives (GAM) was attended by a large number of local guest house owners. During the meeting, they expressed their concerns regarding the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on their businesses. Noting that no relief is provided to the sector to overcome its current financial challenges, they pointed out the burden of having to pay utility bills while no income is generated from the premise.
The government has announced that local guest houses will be allowed to resume operation on October 15. Several guest houses noted that adequate information regarding the resumption of guest house operation next month are not being shared with the businesses. While the special policies and regulations remain unfamiliar, this could cause additional issues, they said.
During the meeting, Tourism Minister, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom acknowledged their concerns and said the government would work towards finding a solution to the issues.
GAM earlier conducted a survey on the loss incurred on the local tourism sector due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey showed that the sector has suffered a loss of over US$ 30 million.