Hinterland Green

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Maldives Archipelago to Introduce Green Tax on Tourists

The Maldives archipelago will introduce a new environmental tax on all tourists who use its resorts and provide its economic lifeline. Why? The archipelago is threatened by rising sea levels due to climate change. The Maldives, which is the stomping ground of the rich and famous, has made quite a name for itself as an advocate for mitigating climate change because the rising sea levels are forecast to submerge most of its islands by 2100.

The Maldives' $850 million economy reportedly gets more than a quarter of its gross domestic product from tourists, but has not yet taxed them to help it fight climate change. President Mohammed Nasheed said an environment tax was soon to be levied on all tourists. "We have introduced a green tax. It's in the pipeline. It's a matter of parliament approving it and I hope parliament will approve it -- $3 per each tourist a day," Nasheed told reporters in Male, the capital of the Indian Ocean archipelago.

According to Reuters, based on an annual average of 700,000 tourists who spend an average of three days on the islands, that translates to about $6.3 million annually.
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