Maldives on Monday began charging a new USD 25 Airport Development Charge (ADC) from foreigners travelling from the country’s main Velana International Airport.
ADC was introduced in the state budget for this year as a revenue boosting measure. A legislation authorising the new tax was passed by the parliament and ratified by President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom in December.
According to the new law, an ADC of USD 25 on foreigners and USD 12 on locals will be charged starting May 1. Only transit passengers and those with diplomatic immunity are exempted from the tax, which will be included by airlines in their ticket fares.
As the government already levies an Airport Service Charge of USD 25 from foreign passengers and USD 12 from locals departing from Velana International Airport, the total amount to be charged with ADC has increased to USD 24 from locals and USD 50 from foreigners.
The introduction of ADC comes almost a year after the government kickstarted a USD 800 million mega project to expand and upgrade Velana International Airport, which serves as the main gateway to the Maldives. The project includes construction of a brand new terminal, a runway, a seaplane terminal and other support facilities.
Maldives, known world over for its upmarket tourism industry, receives more than a million tourists every year. As tourist arrivals increase year by year, the upgraded airport is expected to cater seven million passengers per annum.