The Ministry of Tourism in the Maldives has introduced regulations that permit the establishment of integrated tourist resorts on inhabited islands, opening up exciting prospects for the country’s tourism industry.
Published in the Government Gazette by the Ministry of Tourism, these regulations for Integrated Tourist Resort Development give resorts on inhabited islands the authority to create separate tourist resorts, hotels, and various amenities tailored specifically for tourists. This move aims to enhance the tourist experience while providing additional economic opportunities to inhabited islands.
Within these integrated resorts, facilities such as restaurants and diving centers can be developed and operated to cater not only to tourists residing within the integrated resort but also to visitors from the island and the general public.
Uninhabited islands and lagoons are also now permitted to operate integrated tourist resorts, diversifying tourism offerings in the Maldives.
The regulations specify that land allocated for tourist resort development within an integrated resort must be apportioned from the outskirts of an island. In inhabited islands and lagoons with integrated tourist resorts, an additional separate tourist resort can be established within 50% of the allocated area. Furthermore, individual hotels can occupy up to 85% of the designated land area within an integrated tourist resort.
In a bid to boost maritime tourism, the Ministry of Tourism is also facilitating the development of yacht marinas within integrated tourist resorts. These marinas will provide berthing and service facilities for yachts, attracting visitors who wish to explore the Maldives by sea.
However, the regulations introduce certain requirements and fees. If an existing resort undergoes conversion into an integrated resort, a payment of USD 1 million will be mandated. The license to operate an integrated tourist resort is valid for a term of 20 years.
These groundbreaking regulations represent a significant step forward for the Maldives’ tourism industry, providing opportunities for economic growth and diversification while maintaining the country’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty and pristine environment.