Maldives relaxes regulations, allows resort management contracts without govt approval

Maldives government has relaxed regulations, allowing contracts for resort management be signed without prior approval from the tourism ministry.

Under the grant of rights regulations, management contracts can only be signed after a written approval from the tourism industry.

However, an amendment to the regulations now allows owners to sign management contracts with eligible resort operators without prior approval from the ministry.

According to the amendment, which was gazetted on Thursday, such contracts would be subjected to a fine of USD 4,000 at the time of registration at the ministry. The owner and operator should also sign a separate agreement with the ministry, bearing responsibility for all aspects of the contract from the date of signing to the date of registration.

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.

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