Maldives Investigates Voluntary Green Tax on Tourists

July 9, 2012 Taxation in Maldives

Maldives Eyes Voluntary Green Tax MALÉ – Maldives is looking to make the country “carbon neutral” within the next 8 years, and will implement a tax to be voluntarily paid by environmentally conscious tourists to help pay for environmental projects.

While speaking at a press conference on July 8th the Minister of Environment and Energy of the Maldives Mariyam Shakeela described the country’s commitment to becoming “carbon neutral” and elaborated on new tax measures which could be used to help the Maldives achieve this aim.

The Maldives is currently looking to raise tax revenues by USD 100 million in order to fund new programs and initiatives to achieve its goal of becoming carbon neutral by the year 2020. The government is now looking to implement new taxes on foreign tourists in order to meet its objective.

According to Mariyam Shakeela, the government is investigating the feasibility of implementing a “voluntary contribution” which would be paid by visitors arriving in the country. The Minister explained that the voluntary system could be easier to implement than a mandatory tax, as the current government is weary of placing any more charges on the lucrative tourist industry.

In a interview later in the day the President of the Maldives Mohamed Waheed Hassan also commented on the potential tax, saying that even if each tourist only chose to contribute USD 10, the total funds received could be as high as USD 10 million per year. Talking about the likelihood of visitors willingly paying the tax, the President said that he believes that tourists coming to the islands are environmentally conscious and would gladly pay to keep Maldives carbon neutral.

Photo by sleepychinchilla