Must amend the Tourism Law to reopen Shangri-La Resort in Addu City: Minister Mausoom

Minister of Tourism, Dr. Abdulla Mausoom speaking at the commemorative event held on the 75th anniversary of the British Loyalty Shipwreck in Addu City on January 5, 2021 | Photo: adduLIVE

Malé, Maldives – The Minister of Tourism Dr Abdullah Mausoom said on Monday that the Maldives Tourism Act (Law No. 2/99) must be amended first before Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa located in Addu City can be reopened.

Speaking at the questioning session held today at the parliament regarding the delay in the reopening of the resort, Minister Mausoom stated that the Tourism Act needs to be amended for the government to release its shares of the resort.

The Government of Maldives currently holds 30 percent share in the resort. The Minister elaborated that as per the agreement with Addu Investment Pvt Ltd, the government must share in loans to finance loss, in addition to not earning any profit through the resort.

Minister Mausoom said that the Tourism Ministry got a formula to release such shares with the 10th amendment to the Tourism Act ratified on 27 December 2020.

Shangri-La suspended its operations in Addu City in April 2020 with the onset of the pandemic in the Maldives and closed the resort indefinitely in August 2020.

A petition was signed to restart tourism in Addu City on 6 December 2020.

The Minister did not give a definite date for the reopening of the resort.

Minister Mausoom stated that under the current amendment, it costs the government 80 million to release shares. An 11th amendment is being drafted and will be submitted to the parliament in two weeks which may facilitate the transfer of shares.

The Tourism Minister has previously said that Shangri-La Villingili Resort and Spa will restart operations before 2022.