Maldives has recently relaxed its tourism rules which was restricting all tourism to resorts on uninhabited islands. The abolishment of this rule has sparked the growth of guest house tourism. Since then guest houses have been developed in many islands in various atolls in the Maldives.
Guest houses are accommodations for tourists which are located on inhabited islands by locals. While some guesthouses are similar to hotels which are all inclusive, others are more like bed and breakfast inns. The luxury amenities, facilities and services are not similar to a resort however, guests have the opportunity for watersports, diving and other activities like night fishing and excursions to uninhabited islands and sandbanks through local dive and watersports providers in the islands.There is a huge variety of guest houses currently available.
The main difference between guesthouses and resorts are that guesthouses do not own their own island, which means guests will have to be respectful of the local community, will need to be more mindful of local customs, in particular, women will need to dress much more modestly than on a resort.
It also means guests can make use of the public transportation in place for the locals, saving one of the exorbitant costs a tourist who comes to a resort spends on seaplane transfers and speed boats to reach the particular resort from the international airport. By staying in a guest house, the guests will also have the opportunity to experience the real Maldivian life on an island and meet and interact with the locals in a more friendly atmosphere.