Minister of Tourism Abdulla Mausoom has revealed the special legislation put in place by the Ministry for tour operators and tour agents in the Maldives to provide businesses security in operating competition with international parties and will aid them in business growth for global tourism.
A regulation which allows travel agencies to be able to operate in the Maldives without the need for a physical office has been drafted and publicized by the ministry of tourism. The new changes are to provide more flexibility and ease to stakeholders in the industry, as prior to the change, travel agencies had to have a designated office, with email and fax facilities in place. New entrants to the market also had to meet certain criteria outlined by the Ministry.
The new regulations implemented would also mean that the Ministry will no longer be inspecting newly formed travel agencies. Travel agencies must still have an email address and phone number, as stipulated by the guidelines, but an office is not required. Furthermore, an individual must be held accountable for the company, along with his/her email address and phone number being registered.
As per regulations, operational permits for travel agencies cannot be given to companies run by a foreign party, hence if a foreign company would like to expand their operations within the Maldives, they must do so in partnership with a local travel agent. While over 400 travel agents are in the Maldives, due to the COVID-19 situation, many companies have halted operations. Work is currently being done by the government to pave the way for further opportunities for such businesses in the Maldives.
Photo Credit: Ministry of Tourism