A premier tourism promoting organization of Maldives have placed stiff criticism towards state’s newly drafted ‘Safe Tourism Guideline.’
The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) criticized the guideline claiming it was formed without proper discussions with any relevant stakeholders.
As per MATATO, the new guidelines will greatly affect the prospective tourism industry of Maldives, post a Covid-19 recovery scenario.
Moreover, MATATO lambasted the lack of time for discussion and denies state’s comment of prior discourse over the draft by relevant stakeholders.
However, the association had welcomed state’s decision to present guideline draft for feedback before implementation.
MATATO argues the ‘Safe Tourism Guideline’ will undermine the country’s 40-year old tourism industry. The association further commented on the negative feedback from tourists aimed towards the guideline.
According to the guideline drafted by Ministry of Tourism, holidaymakers can visit to tourist venues exclusively holding ‘Safe Tourism License’, effective post the Covid-19 border reopening and tourism resumption.
Moreover, the ministry in their draft proposed a USD50,000 charged from tourist properties for the said license.
Tourism industry is expected to resume in July, while the country will accept tourists arriving via super-yachts or private jets from June onward.
As per the ‘Safe Tourism Guideline’ state will charge USD50,000 as fee for every private je landing and USD10,000 as berthing fee for super-yachts.
Additionally, the on-arrival visa which had been free for tourists in the country prior to border closure will expect incurring a fee of USD100 per person, once tourism resumes.