5 million in US Dollars is paid annually as taxes to the government by the different liveaboards operated in the country; Liveaboard Association of Maldives.
During the Boating Awards held at Champa Central hotel to commemorate the efforts ad successes of the liveaboards of the country, the Secretary General of the association Ignaz Ali stated that the safari operators and the boats themselves have taken the initiative to pay the tax for the service they provide for the government.
“Though we are not a rich sector of the economy, we proudly pay a $5 million in taxes each year,” stated Ignaz. this was done through the hard-work of the operators and boat captains and staff of the companies, he added.
In his speech he also addressed to the growing concern of the safari boats and operators for not having a dedicated port for safaris to be docked. He dubbed it as ‘Falhunei Industry’ aka the ‘Homeless Safari Industry’.
Currently almost all safaris dock at the Hulhumaale Lagoon and there is no marina nor a dock for the vessels. Over the course of 9 years of LAM, they have been working tirelessly to achieve this with no success as of yet. However, the plans for a yacht marina had been discussed over the course of years with no concrete plan in place. There are over 150 liveaboards operating nearly 5000 beds in the Maldivian tourism industry.