Mausoom: Tourism will not be adversely affected by new tax

Tourism Minister Dr. Abdulla Mausoom. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

 Minister of Tourism Dr. Abdulla Mausoom has stated that the tourism industry will not be adversely affected by the introduction of a new tax to be charged from all outbound travelers based on their travel class. 

Speaking at a television program broadcasted by Raajje TV last night, Mausoom stated that Departure Tax and Airport Development Fee which will be levied from passengers starting next year are not new concepts. He also adds that similar taxes are widely in place in many other countries.

“Most of the time the tourists do not even realize that they have been charged for a tax as it is included in the price of their tickets. Moreover, this has been commonly discussed by many people in order to improve the yield of the Maldives in comparison to its rates,” he said.

Mausoom also noted that a lot of resorts in the Maldives are owned by foreign investors – thus most of the profits from these resorts flow out of the Maldives. He further explained that the introduction of such a ‘direct’ tax will be easy to quantify and charge from – subsequent to which it will benefit the general public greatly.

“A significant change with the introduction of this tax can only be seen for passengers traveling in business class, first-class, and via a private jet. I do not think this change will adversely affect us at all,” he added.

The first amendment to the Airport Taxes and Fees Act was ratified by President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih yesterday which will see the introduction of ‘Departure Tax’ that will be charged from all outbound passengers departing from any airport in the Maldives.

Departure Tax will be collected from all international outbound travelers from Maldives – including foreigners and locals. It will be categorized into four in which locals and foreigners will be charged the same amount in all categories except for in Economy Class.

This tax will be implemented starting January 1, 2022. The previously enacted Airport Service Charge shall remain in effect until December 31, 2021 – and will be collected from all outbound travelers from Velana International Airport until then. 

The amendment also revises current rates of Airport Development Fee in a similar fashion.