Tourism Minister Abdulla Mausoom has stated that the Immigration Laws need to be amended such that tourists that visit the Maldives can stay for longer than three months.
The minister said he had hoped that the amendments proposed for the Immigration Act which was ratified on Wednesday would include provisions that allow tourists to stay in the Maldives for a longer duration. However, no such amendments were brought, said the minister, noting that it is extremely important to bring about this change at this point of time.
The minister said he hopes that such a change would increase the number of bed nights to match the number of bed nights stayed by tourists during 2019 when a record number of tourists visited the Maldives.
“Truth be told, three months is not an adequate amount of time for some tourists to stay in the Maldives. Therefore, it is important to bring changes to the law such that a special visa is not necessary to stay for periods longer than 90 days. This will in turn increase the duration of stay,” said the minister.
According to Tourism Ministry’s statistics, although the government estimated over 10,000 tourist arrivals in July after the Maldives reopened its borders on July 15, only 1,500 visited during the first fifteen days. However, the numbers have since picked up, with 50,105 tourists having visited the MAldives since then. This has increased the total number of arrivals recorded this year to 441,952.