Maldives shuts down its spas over 'prostitution' claims
- Filed under:
British tourists holidaying in the Maldives will miss out on massages and manicures as hundreds of its luxury spas are closed down - because of 'prostitution' claims.
Objectors have claimed that some spas were promoting 'anti-Islamic' behaviour, reportedly including prostitution.
According to the Metro, the land follows one religion, Sunni Islam, and an Islamic political party has claimed the Indian Ocean nation's spas are going against it, and are a 'front' for prostitution.
The opposition Adhaalath party pushing for the ban has reportedly failed to substantiate its claim, leading some to believe the anti-spa stance is designed to simply "embarrass the government", according to the Huffington Post.
Nevertheless, a statement from the president's office confirmed the ban, and spas and health centres in a host of upmarket resorts across hundreds of islands were closed down on Thursday.
The Maldives is a well-known paradise haven for honeymooners, many of whom see spa treatments as an essential part of their dream holiday.
Understandably, the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry is bitterly disappointed with the news, and claim the country's economy will take a huge hit if a resolution can't be found.
But, according to the AFP news agency, at least one exclusive resort is not following suit, with a manager at the Huvafen Fushi resort telling the service: "We have heard of this report, but our spa is open."
According to the BBC, industry sources say they expect the government to eventually change its stance on the closure because of the huge revenue created by its spas.
Around 850,000 tourists were attracted to its talcum powder sands, turquoise seas and stunning coral reefs in 2011.
Would a no-spa rule put you off a Maldivian escape? Leave your thoughts below...
Sign up to our weekly newsletter | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook