Households prohibited from offering tourist accomodation

The Tourism Ministry has said households are not permitted to provide lodging for tourists, and indicated action will be taken against those who violate Article 20 of the Tourism Act.

The Act state that registered businesses with required facilities may host tourists. Tourists may not receive accommodation in exchange for payment to any establishment other than a registered and licensed guest house and hotel.

Households in Male’, Hulhumale’ and other atolls had recently placed advertisements for housing tourists.

Tourism Ministry Permanent Secretary Ahmed Solih told Haveeru that no complaints had been received, and that the ministry had issued the warning to inform the public of the policy.

Popular traveler website CouchSurfing, however, has nearly 80 registered users in the Maldives. While some users simply look to meet for coffee, others offer basic accommodation to travelers in exchange for a local perspective.

CouchSurfing does not facilitate, stipulate or endorse financial transactions.