Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom provided assurance to the Parliament on Monday that the tourism sector will not be used for politics.
In response to questions at the Parliament on Monday morning, Mausoom said the Tourism Ministry was engaged in efforts to collect rent from islands leased for tourism, and would take action against resorts that fail to make the payments.
Mausoom said that 18 resorts have been issued notices for failure to make rent payments.
He said that though the Tourism Ministry would take action against resorts that failed to make rent payments, it did not plan on revoking licenses.
Mausoom said that revoking licenses would have a detrimental effect on the entire Maldivian economy, and that the Tourism Ministry was therefore working to solve the issue without revoking licenses.
“Based on the economic situation, we don’t find it to be the best course of action. We are engaged in talks with the resorts to collect the rent,” he said.
Maldives Inland Revenue Authority (MIRA)’s 2020 audit report shows the state did not received MVR 17 million in tourism land rent. It marks a 264 percent increase from 2016.
MIRA said that the accumulated dues owed to the state as of December 31, 2021, stood at MVR 16 billion. 78 percent of the dues were tourism land rent and related fines.
The dues owed to the state from the tourism sector stands at MVR 16.9 billion.
MIRA publicized the names of 12 resorts that had failed to pay tourism land rent last week.