In a recent post on X, Ibrahim Faisal, the Minister of Tourism, addressed the growing concerns surrounding the changes in regulations for cruise lines coming to Maldives. He acknowledged the challenges brought forth by the previous administration’s decision to impose GST on rooms occupied by passengers on cruise ships.
In September, Maldives introduced new regulations governing the operation of foreign safaris, yachts, and cruise lines. These changes primarily involve adjustments to the fee structure for foreign tourist vessels.
The new fee system is expected to considerably impact the operational costs for these vessels, potentially influencing the decisions of international cruise and yacht operators considering Maldives as an attractive destination.
The new government’s move to revise these rules aligns with its broader strategy to enhance and regulate maritime tourism, aiming to create a more structured and financially sustainable environment for both local stakeholders and international visitors.
Minister Faisal expressed his confidence in the proposed amendments, stating they aim to resolve the current difficulties faced by the cruise industry. This statement comes amid rising concerns from the Maldives Association for Yacht Agency (MAYA) regarding the cancellation of several cruise lines scheduled to arrive in Maldives during the holiday season.