The Maldives introduces departure tax

MALE, the Maldives, 21 July 2021: It’s not the cheapest beach destination in the world, and it will get a mite more expensive next year with the arrival of a new departure tax.

It means international travellers will need to put aside USD30 to cover the new departure tax due to make its debut on 1 January 2022.

It’s all part of the country’s streamlining of its Airport Taxes and Fees, which will involve phasing out the Airports Service Charge that will be phased out at the end of the year to make way for the departure tax.

The current airport service charge is USD15 for foreigners and USD12 for locals.

Residents and citizens of the Maldives will pay the same tax level of USD12 under the new system, while all foreign travellers will pay the higher USD30, according to Raajje, the official online news channel for the Maldives.

But if you have the cash to splash on business class flights, the tax level rises to USD60, no matter whether you are a foreigner or a local traveller. And to add insult to injury, the Maldives tax collector sticks first class travellers with a USD90 departure tax which seems a little steep if you won your first-class seat or set off the cost with your frequent flyer points. There appear to be no end to the graded tax levels as the bill for flying in a private jet will be USD130.

Airlines will be told to collect all the tax fees upfront when you buy a ticket.

On top of the departure tax, passengers departing via Velana International Airport will need to pay USD25 for what is called an “Airport Development Fee”. The Maldives holiday will be a little more expensive when you calculate the extras for a family of four.