Maldives hotels estimated to lose USD30M amid COVID-19 outbreak

MALE (XINHUA) – A survey in Maldives has shown that local guesthouses which have been closed as a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 could lose nearly USD30 million in revenue, local media reported yesterday.

A survey conducted by the Guest House Association of Maldives (GAM) found that it could take up to six months for local guesthouses to be operational again, during which time they would lose USD28.9 million in revenue.

According to GAM, many guesthouses pay 26 per cent of their revenue to the government through utility bills on the Green Tax and Tourism Goods and Services Tax, while 56 per cent of revenue is spent on salaries and community related expenses. The survey also found that many guesthouses were established under loan arrangements and had to pay significant sums as land lease and rent.

Tourism makes up around 20 per cent of Maldives’ GDP and has been severely disrupted amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has joined the Global Tourism Crisis Committee which was convened by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to discuss the impact of COVID-19.

A total of 13 confirmed cases of COVID-19 has been reported in Maldives, all of whom are foreign citizens. Five patients have recovered, bringing the total number of active cases down to eight.