Additional fees will not be taken from tourists, when the Maldives reopens its borders.
Tourism Minister Ali Waheed made the statement at a meeting of the parliament’s economic affairs committee on Thursday night, after a draft of a safe tourism proposing a special visa and PCR testing fees was circulated online.
Noting that this “initial draft” was comprised in case of a rapid increase of Covid-19 cases in the country, the tourism minister stressed that it was targeted for those that wish to come to the island nation for a prolonged period for quarantine purposes as the virus continued to spread rapidly across the world.
He said that a number of foreigners have made such requests since the country closed borders in March, adding that this guideline was formed to allow them to do so in a transparent and unbiased manner.
Speaking on the leak of this draft, Waheed described it as an “unprofessional act” and said that this led to a misconception.
Further noting that they are currently working on a “third draft” of the guidelines, the minister said that this will be compiled after input from tourism stakeholders. He added that these discussions have been ongoing in the past few days.
The tourism minister said that he does not wish to make the Maldives “an expensive destination” rather to make it “more accessible” to tourists across the world.
While the country plans to open its borders and restart international flights in July, he said that a policy will be completed by then and that this will include all the required changes.
The safe tourism guideline that has been circulating online includes procedures to be followed in allowing entry into the country.
As such, it proposes a special visa fee of USD 100 dollars for all arrivals, as well as another USD 100 fee for PCR testing after arriving in the country.