Authorities aim to double services tax on tourism
Tourism authorities in the Maldives are planning to raise the goods and services tax on tourism in the coming weeks. Industry insiders say that this will hit hotels and tour operators, forcing them to up their own rates.
The tax was first introduced at 3.5% in 2011, was raised to 6% in 2012 and 8% earlier in 2013. Now legislation is being debated in the Maldives parliament that would almost double it, to 15%.
“I think the tax will be increased to about 12-13%,” predicted Adam Mohamed, chief executive of the state-owned Maldives Marketing & Public Relations Corporation.
“If there is such a move, it would definitely affect hotels and pricing,” Badr-Eddine Rakmi, sales manager for four Angsana and Banyan Tree properties in the Maldives, tells TTG Asia.
“White sands, beach weddings and the unique beach island concept are now being offered by Seychelles, Bali and Mauritius at much cheaper rates,” Shafraz Fazley, managing director of Viluxur Holidays, commented. “The Maldives is no longer the only girl on the beach.”
[pictured: Anantara Kihavah Villas, Maldives]