Foreigners to be allowed to invest in guesthouse businesses

The Tourism Ministry has stated that changes will be brought to laws such that foreigners can invest in guesthouse businesses in the Maldives.

Around 600 guest houses are operated across Maldives, and is one of the most lucrative businesses for locals. The current laws do not allow for foreigners to invest in guesthouse businesses. As per the current regulations, ownership of guesthouses businesses have to be solely given to locals.

Speaking at the Parliament’s Public Finance Committee on Tuesday, Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom said in order to restrict the amount of foreign currency leaving the country, regulations must be made such that the majority ownership of tourism properties are given to Maldivians. With the new changes that allow foreign investments for guesthouse businesses, local guest houses can seek investors with 59% ownership to locals and 49% to foreigners, said the minister.

According to the minister, the change is now being included in the gazette. The model is practiced successfully all over the world, and the same model will be applied to local hotels and guesthouses, bringing revolutionary changes to the investment environment, said the minister.