Ministry of Tourism has amended the regulation on travel agencies and tour operators, removing the need for such companies to have an established central office.
The regulation on travel agencies and tour operators was amended and re-published on February 25. The regulation was amended to resolve some of the difficulties faced by travel agencies and tour operators in the Maldives.
The main amendment brought to the regulation was with regards to the establishment of an office for the operations of travel companies. Previously, the regulation mandated such companies to establish an office for their services, and included the minimum size and description of the office. However, these clauses have now been removed.
Another amendment brought to the regulation was the requirement to hire English-speaking locals as airport representatives. The regulation states expatriates can only work as airport representatives after receiving authorization from the Ministry of Tourism. Airport representatives are also required to wear a uniform, indicating their employer.
Furthermore, the new regulation also requires foreign travel agencies and tour operators to seek authorization from the tourism ministry before opening an office in the Maldives. Foreign companies are also required to work with a local company during their operations in the Maldives.
While the tourism ministry has amended the regulation on travel agencies and tour operators, the Parliament is also undertaking efforts to formulate a special law for travel agencies and tour operators in the Maldives.