Majlis passes Green Tax

The People’s Majlis has today approved amendments to the Tourism Act, introducing a ‘Green Tax’ on all tourists.

The US$6 per person levy – part of the government’s plans to raise MVR3.4 billion (US$220 million) in new revenue next year – will be introduced in November.

Tabled last month by Progressive Party of Maldives MP Abdulla Khaleel, MP for Nilandhoo, the bill was passed with the support of 52 of the 68 MPs present during the today’s vote.

Tourism Minister Ahmed Adeeb has previously said that the cabinet does not believe the green tax will hinder the demand from tourists, who will become “champions” of the Maldivian environment by paying the tax. He added that revenue generated would be spent on resolving the waste management issues in the greater Malé region.

The introduction of the new tax is to come 11 months after the abolition of the bed-tax, which will continue to be charged at US$8 a night until the end of this month.

A recent increase in Tourism Goods and Service Tax prompted some within the tourism industry to suggest the resorts could not withstand further taxation, although the IMF has continued to push for further levies in order to relieve the country’s fiscal imbalances.