57 resorts operational two weeks into border reopening

Soneva Jani, a luxury resort in the Maldives.

Tourism Ministry has announced that 57 resorts have recommenced operations since Maldives reopened its borders for international travel last July.

Maldives suspended issuance of on-arrival visa and closed its borders on March 27. The country reopened its borders and allowed tourist resorts to recommence operations under safety guidelines on July 15.

Records released by Tourism Ministry on Thursday shows the authority has issued permits to 61 resorts to recommence operations. And as of this Thursday, 57 resorts have recommenced operations.

The remaining permits were issued to one resort which is scheduled to reopen this August, and three resorts scheduled to reopen in September.

Meanwhile, two hotels located in non-residential islands have also been issued permits to reopen. It includes the Amilla Fushi in B. Finolhas and Mercure Maldives Kooddoo in G. A. Kooddoo.

22 tourist vessels have also been issued permits to recommence operations, and eight tourist establishments in the greater Male’ region have been issued permits to operate as transit quarantine facilities.

Maldives had previously been scheduled to reopen guesthouses and hotels located in residential islands for international tourists this August, but revised the decision amid a surge in coronavirus cases with the relaxation of the lockdown in the capital.

The decision not to open guesthouses and hotels in August was announced by Health Minister Abdulla Ameen during the inauguration of medical facilities in Addu City, Fuvahmulah City and H. A. Ihavandhoo on July 25.

He said the government will review the outbreak situation and announce a date for the reopening of guesthouses and hotels in mid-August.

Maldives recently cut tourism land rent imposed on tourist resorts in several southern and northern atolls of the country in a bid to promote tourism in the outlying regions.