Government approval scrapped for resort share transfers

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The tourism ministry has revised regulations governing tourist resort ownership to allow the transfer of shares without prior approval.

The rules previously required written authorisation from the tourism ministry for the transfer of shares from a company that holds the lease for an island or plot of land to operate a tourist establishment. The economic development ministry also required a no objection letter to record the share transfer and issue the new share certificate, which would have to be submitted to the tourism ministry for completion of the regulatory process.

The provisions in the 2010 regulations were scrapped on Sunday (12 February), enabling an easier share transfer process.

In March last year, the tourism ministry abolished a fee charged for the transfer of leaseholder rights of resorts.

The fee for transferring leaseholder rights of resorts and hotels under development was also slashed from US$100,000 to US$10,000. The fee for the sale or lease transfer of an operational resort was reduced to US$50,000. New rules were introduced for the sublease or management agreements of separate islands in the same lagoon.