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Tourists in Maldives told to pay more tax

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Visitors now have to pay Green Tax to fund conservation
Despite earlier resistance by tour operators, the Maldivian authorities have begun implementing a new Green Tax at US$6 per tourist bed from November 1.
The tax, imposed through an amendment to the Maldives Tourism Act, is payable by tourists who stay in resorts, hotels and tourist vessels. Maldivians and resident permit holders who stay in such properties are exempted, clarified the Maldives Inland Revenue Authority. Guesthouses are exempted too.
In January, tourism minister Ahmed Adheeb said the new tax was aimed at protecting the Maldives’ fragile environment. “Revenue generated from the tax will go into managing the waste from local resorts and other islands,” he told local media.
Tour operators, who declined to be named, have in the past complained of an over-taxed regime since 2014. An airport exit tax of US$25 per person came into effect in July last year. While the Maldives discontinued a US$8 tax per bed per night in November last year, Goods and Services Tax rose from 8% to 12% that same month.
Meanwhile, official data show a rising demand for mid- and lower-end rooms in this high-end destination. Resort occupancy fell 3.5% in September, while guesthouse occupancy rose 7.2%.
TTG Asia

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