Minister: Sri Lanka’s tourism boom to benefit Maldives
Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Naseem said on Friday that Sri Lanka’s booming tourist industry will compliment Maldives’ target to increase tourist arrivals by over a million this ye
Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Naseem said on Friday that Sri Lanka’s booming tourist industry will compliment Maldives’ target to increase tourist arrivals by over a million this year.
The Foreign Minister who visited the country to discuss foreign policy affairs with Sri Lanka said that the better Sri Lankan does in tourism, the better Maldives will perform. “There is this perception that we are competitors in tourism .However the reality is that we can be complimentary to each other. When Sri Lanka does well in tourism Maldives too fares, and vice versa,” Naseem said.
He said, Sri Lanka has become a hot spot for tourism since the war has ended. “The Eastern coast of Sri Lanka is the most beautiful beach coast in the country and will certainly attract more tourists.” Naseem said that Maldives is excited at this prospect and are expecting over a million tourist this year.
He said the Sri Lanka–Maldives tourism package was the most demanding, earning substantial profits to both countries. He said the two countries are considering to reintroduce the package.
The Maldivian Government has this year introduced a 3.5% Goods and Services Tax (GST) for the tourism industry and passed legislation to introduce a Business Profits Tax. The Government has also introduced a measures to restructure the civil service through voluntary redundancies.
“The Maldivian fishing sector consists of 40% and the tourism 20% of the country’s working population. Both sectors are booming and are not burdened by the increasing cost of living in Maldives. However, the civil service sector has been affected,” Naseem pointed out.