Maldives introduces green tax

Angsana Ihuru – People’s Majlis of Maldives (parliament) has passed a new Green Tax on tourists visiting the Maldives to help environment protection programmes by the government.

Under the new tax, every tourist will be charged USD 6 per day they spend in the Maldives. Tourists staying at guest houses are exempted from paying the tax.

Green Taxes will be levied from November 2015 and has been reduced to USD 6, from USD 10 proposed earlier. “Levying this tax is necessary given Maldives’ fragile environment,” Minister of Tourism Ahmed Adheeb told reporters. “Revenue generated from the tax will go in to managing the waste from local resorts and other islands.” Successive governments have come under fire for failing to implement competent waste management policies for the group of islands that is also under threat from rising sea levels.

Maldives expect more than 1.2 million tourists to visit in 2014 and the government plans to open 60 more luxury resorts over the next five years. Tourism currently accounts for more than 70 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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