Maldives seeks public opinion ahead of tourism law amendments

Maldives government has sought public opinion on tourism laws and regulations in a bid to review the legal framework concerning tourism.

In a statement, tourism ministry said relevant laws and regulations have been published on the ministry’s website. Suggestions can be sent in through email to info@tourism.gov.mv until February 20, it added.

“Necessary regulations are being amended with reference to comments and suggestions made during the Guesthouse Symposium held on December 29, 2018,” the statement read.

Held as part of the new government’s first 100-day pledges, the Maldives Guesthouse Symposium 2018 took place at the main convention centre of Dharubaaruge in capital Male. The one-day forum was attended by tourism minister Ali Waheed and top officials of relevant authorities along with representatives from 340 guesthouses located across the Maldives.

The main objective of the symposium is to create a platform for guesthouse operators and relevant government authorities to come together and discuss issues and constraints, providing strategic directions for sustainable development of guesthouse sector, which support environmentally sensitive business operations, whilst protecting the cultural and natural heritage of the island in providing maximum economic and social benefits to the local people.

The symposium recognises the need for sustainable development of the rapidly growing guesthouse sector of the Maldives, as well as the government’s commitment to identify and address issues and challenges faced by guesthouse operators and island communities.

Tourism minister Ali Waheed had earlier told journalists that his ministry was in the process of formulating a new strategic masterplan for tourism. Comments and suggestions made by industry stakeholders would be incorporated in the masterplan, he had said.

Meanwhile, the government has pledged to ramp up tourism promotion.

Reflecting the new government’s pledge, the state budget for 2019 includes MVR 104,200,000 (USD 6.7 million) for tourism promotion, up from MVR 34,733,333 (USD 2.2 million) this year and the previous year.

Photo: Mihaaru

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