Maldives to open first integrated guesthouse island for investment

Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) is set to open the integrated guesthouse island of Baresdhoo for investment.

Mohamed Shahid, Managing Director of Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC), which has taken over the much-awaited project from the state tourism promotion company Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC), told local media last week that the project would now be carried out under a rental model. MITDC would develop property and lease them for interested parties to operate for a 50-year period, he added.

MMPRC has earlier announced the sale of 16 land plots from the island, which is the first ever integrated guesthouse development in the Maldives.

“We will honour the contracts of those 16 plots. The new rental model will only apply to new plots,” Shahid said.

“This is a departure from the ‘one island, one resort’ concept that property owners and operators in the Maldives currently follow.”

MITDC is to hold an information session for investors at Hotel Jen in capital Male on Wednesday. Interested parties will have a two-month period to submit expressions of interest.

According to MITDC, the 75-hectare island of Baresdhoo in Laamu atoll will have some 50 guesthouses with 25-50 beds each, and two hotels with at least 100 beds each. Restaurants, cafes, bars, a spa, a theme park, a theatre, a golf course, a botanical garden and a dive centre will also be developed within 18 months, it said.

MMPRC has earlier built the island’s harbour and joined a small nearby island to Baresdhoo. A local company has also been contracted to build the road network of the island.

Government’s foray into guesthouse business comes amid a significant increase in the number of guesthouses across the archipelago. Some 300 guesthouses have started operations over the past five years as the number of travellers that choose to stay in guesthouses is on the rise.

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