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Ministry of Tourism reduces rent fines for tourist facilities

Ahmed Aiham
04 August 2020, MVT 21:55
A photograph of Hardrock Cafe' in the integrated resort island Crossroads. PHOTO: HUSSAIN WAHEED / MIHAARU
Ahmed Aiham
04 August 2020, MVT 21:55

Ministry of Tourism, in reference to the global COVID-19 pandemic, reduced the fine imposed on late rent fees for tourist establishments on Tuesday.

According to the revised guidelines, tourist facilities must now pay a fine of 0.0493 percent for each day after the rent deadline, as opposed to the formerly charged 0.5 percent.

For guesthouses, hotels and resorts, the government collects land rent for each quarter of the fiscal year.

As part of the relief measures to cushion the economic blow on tourist facilities due to COVID-19, the government had previously decided to defer lease payments for resorts for six months, as well as payments for water and electricity bills.

As with numerous countries around the world, in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Maldives closed its air and sea borders to tourist arrivals from March 27 to July 15.

The restrictions on international travel left Maldives' heavily tourism reliant economy in an extremely vulnerable state. In mid-April, the World Bank projected that Maldives would be the worst-hit economy in the South Asian region due to the pandemic.

Maldives estimates a shortfall of approximately USD 450 million (MVR 6.9 billion) in foreign currency and a state deficit of MVR 13 billion in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the tourism industry.

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