Maldives Integrated Tourism Development Corporation (MITDC) has announced that land plots leased from ‘Guesthouse Island’ Baresdhoo in Laamu Atoll, will be handed over as early as next month.
Baresdhoo Island is now recognized worldwide as real-life Scarif, the tropical island planet depicted in the latest movie in the Star Wars expanded universe. The first phase of the Integrated Resort Project (or government guesthouse project) was initially to be Thunburi island and Hulhuvandhoo island but was later changed to Baresdhoo, and leadership of the project switched from MMPRC to MITDC.
MITDC expressed their confidence that the project will be concluded next year, with 30 guesthouses and 3 large hotels complete with water villas. It is estimated that upon completion, Baresdhoo Island will be able to simultaneously accommodate up to 5,000 tourists.
MITDC’s Managing Director Mohamed Shahid said that there are still 15 plots of land available for lease and that negotiations are already underway with potential investors. He also stressed that the plots were in very high demand and that the investors are all Maldivian companies.
The Government guesthouse project is a new concept to the Maldives. Previously, Maldives embraced the ‘one island one resort’ concept and catered to the luxury holiday market exclusively. In recent years, the introduction of guesthouses on residential islands has greatly increased the accessibility of Maldives to holidaymakers of all budgets.