We don’t do anything for photo ops – Minister Fayyaz

Minister Fayyaz Ismail (second from left) with MPs of Addu and MD of Addu Airport | Photo: adduLIVE

Male’, Maldives – The government doesn’t do anything just for photo opportunities, says Economic Minister of Maldives Ismail Fayyaz.

Speaking at the signing ceremony between Maldivian and Addu Airports Company, to initiate the operation of seaplanes between Addu and Huvadhoo, Fayyaz said that the government has been moving forward with a holistic approach to develop the tourism industry within Fuvahmulah and Addu City, the southern most two atolls of the country respectively.

In this regard, the fee charged per square meter charged for the development of resorts in Addu and Fuvahmulah has been decreased from USD 8.00 to USD 2.00, Fayyaz said. Adding that the fee charged per square meter from lands leased for guesthouse development has also been decreased from USD 8.00 to USD 1.00, Fayyaz said that this decision has been taken to assure the investors, as the payment to be paid to the government for the developments would be significantly less, and in turn, increase the bed capacity in the area, with more investors.

Fayyaz went on to say that this would help to increase the number of international flights, benefiting the south, as well as the entire country.

“We are proving that what the government does is not for photo ops. An air taxi will be seen from behind here. True, the services won’t start tomorrow. From the information I have received, services will start within 45 days. But the reason for such a colorful celebration is to give a message to the market.” Fayyaz said.

While the agreement to start seaplane operations between Huvadhoo and Addu was signed today, the government of Maldives has been working on ways to kickstart the tourism industry which was forced to shutdown due to the global Covid-19 pandemic. Since the closure of borders in March, Maldives managed to bring the number of Covid-19 cases down, as well as take necessary safety and precautionary measures from the coronavirus, to have eventually become certified as a travel safe zone by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) on the 15th of September2