Green tax for larger guesthouses to be raised to USD 6

Tourists take a stroll down a street in K. Maafushi, a residential island popular for local tourism. (File Photo/Sun/Mohamed Muzain Nazim)

The government has submitted a bill to amend the Tourism Act to raise the green tax imposed on tourists who stay at larger guesthouses to USD 6. 

The bill was submitted to the Parliament on behalf of the government by Central Hithadhoo MP Ahmed Rasheed on Wednesday. 

Green tax was initially imposed on tourists who stay at resorts at the rate of USD 6 per night in 2015. It was expanded to tourists who also stay at guesthouses at the rate of USD 3 per night in 2016. 

The bill calls for tourists who stay in guesthouses with more than 50 rooms to be charged USD 6 as green tax, starting next year. 

Tourists who stay at guesthouses with less than 50 rooms will continue to be charged USD 3 as green tax. 

The bill also is also designed to revoke registration fee for guesthouses. The registration fee for hotels is MVR 10,000, and the registration fee for guesthouses is MVR 5,000. 

Green tax is collected to the green fund, which is utilized to finance environmental protection and sustainable development projects such as water and sanitation projects, coastal protection projects and waste management projects. 

The state collected MVR 214 million as green tax in Q1 2022.