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Maldives to auction off 16 islands

The Maldives’ move to attract foreign investment to create new resorts is a “fantastic and smart” one, according to industry experts Credit: Soneva Jani

What greater way to wallow in your own luxurious, Covid-free sanctuary than to buy a private island? At 10am local time on June 24, the Maldives government is auctioning off 16 of its 1,190 islands, to tempt foreign investors into helping to boost a tourist economy that has been hit hard by the pandemic.

There are no reserve prices for the islands, each of which comes with a 50-year lease. But the winning bidder must pay a Lease Acquisition Cost, ranging from a minimum of $210k for the 1.2-hectare Kudafarufasgan’du island in the Haa Dhaal atoll to $1.575m for 10.4-hectare Maausfushi island in the Meemu atoll.

Oh – and the buyer must build a resort. The concept, size and type of resort is down to the buyer, says planning officer Fathmath Maishan at the Maldives Ministry of Tourism, but they will need to adhere to guidelines on construction, environmental practices and the minimum number of beds.

Zoe Dare Hall has the full story.