Maldives attracts more foreign investments in tourism

Maldives has registered new foreign investments in tourism worth at least a hundred million dollars in a move expected to further increase bed capacity.

Registrar of companies Mariyam Visam told journalists on Tuesday that the economic ministry has given licence to 10 foreign investments in the first quarter of this year. Most of the investments are in the tourism sector with the rest in construction, she added.

“The biggest investments are still in the tourism sector. General investments include wholesale trading and there are companies registering in the construction trade in connection with various projects,” she said during a press conference at the economic ministry.

The senior economic official put the total value of the newly registered investments at USD200 million with a realisation period of at least five years.

Official figures show that foreign investments contributed USD 790 million to state revenue in the first quarter of this year. The revenue was generated from investments that were authorised a couple of years ago.

The new investments in tourism come at a time the Maldives’ tourism industry struggles to match demand with a significant increase in supply.

Over the past three years, dozens of uninhabited islands have been leased to local and foreign resort developers. Several international brands have entered into the market, increasing the number of resorts to 120. That number is set to increase as the government has announced the opening of some 20 new resorts by the end of this year.

Along with the new resort openings come the challenge of increasing demand from budget travellers who choose guesthouses over luxury resorts that the Maldives is known for. The guesthouse sector has rapidly expanded with over 300 guesthouses in operation today.

Government has taken new steps to balance demand and payment with the country’s tourism minister Moosa Zameer announcing a cutback in leasing islands for resort development. It was to match supply with the demand in the face of increasing number of new resort openings, he told Financial Times’ FDI Intelligence on Tuesday.


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