The government of the islamic nation of the Maldives last week ordered all massage spas in the country, including spas at luxury hotels, to be closed down in an effort to curb prostitution in the nation of islands and aspirational resorts. Tourism in the Maldives brings in 30% of the country’s revenue and the impact of spa closures on the USD$1.5 billion tourist economy is uncertain.
The conservative islamic Adhaalath opposition party in the Maldives led protests in the capital city Male last week against the nation’s tolerance of anti-islamic activities like alcohol and pork sales to foreigners and massage parlors and spas as fronts for prostitution in the country. Sunni Islam is the official religion of the Maldives.
The government is reported to be taking a step back on Monday, January 2 after receiving a weekend of hotel owner responses and a call for protests against closing hotel spas.
Are alcohol sales at resorts going to be banned too?