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Updated January 8th, 2024 at 10:33 IST

Indians Cancel Maldives Vacations En Masse After PM Modi Insult; Lakshadweep New Hotspot

Maldives tourism has suffered, even as reports say more than 8,000 hotel bookings and 2,300 flights have been cancelled by Indians after PM Modi was insulted.

Reported by: Shweta Parande
Maldives
Indians Cancel Maldives Vacations After PM Modi Insult; Lakshadweep New Hotspot | Image:Unsplash
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Indians are quick to react to insults, especially when it comes to the nation or the prime minister of the country. After the demeaning comments made by three Maldives ministers against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several Indians have cancelled their planned vacations to the visa-free Maldives. The hashtag #BoycottMaldives was trending for two days on X.

Reports say more than 8,000 hotel bookings and 2,300 flights have been cancelled by Indians in two days. As a result, tourism in Maldives has suffered a huge setback, as Indians account for a substantial number of its tourists every year, with at least two lakh having visited in December 2023 alone.

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Although Maldives has suspended the three ministers and dissociated themselves with the remarks made on PM Modi, Indian citizens were quick to ‘cancel Maldives’ and also cancel their vacations.

Not only are Indians cancelling their Maldives vacays but also promoting the Indian Union Territories of Lakshadweep or the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as a better option. This comes after PM Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Lakshadweep, where he inaugurated various developmental projects and also tried snorkelling.

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Dr. Falak Joshipura was one of the first ones to tweet on January 6 about the cancellation of her Maldives trip. “Was planning to go to Maldives for my birthday which falls on 2nd of feb. Had almost finalised the deal with my travel agent (adding proofs below) But immediately cancelled it after seeing this tweet of deputy minister of Maldives,” she said, with a #boycottmaldives hashtag. 

Was planning to go to Maldives for my birthday which falls on 2nd of feb. Had almost finalised the deal with my travel agent (adding proofs below) 
But immediately cancelled it after seeing this tweet of deputy minister of Maldives. #boycottmaldives pic.twitter.com/hd2R534bjY

— Dr. Falak Joshipura (@fa_luck7) January 6, 2024

Another lady with the handle SandYa said, “I went to Maldives few months back and with the things going around. I wish I hadn’t gone. I gifted my Niece her honeymoon package at @SunIslandResort and I have now asked my agent to cancel. Yes am losing 50k in process but it’s worth it. #BoycottMaldives”. 

I went to Maldives few months back and with the things going around . I wish I hadn’t gone .. 
I gifted my Niece her honeymoon package at @SunIslandResort and I have now asked my agent to cancel.

Yes am losing 50k in process but it’s worth it #BoycottMaldives pic.twitter.com/Fmy2CNnZ3P

— SandYa (@DhooDala) January 7, 2024

Rushik Rawal cancelled his booking in the Maldives worth Rs. 5 lakh. He tweeted on January 6, “Had a 3 week booking worth ₹5 lacs from 1st Feb 2024 at Palms Retreat, Fulhadhoo, Maldives. Cancelled it immediately after their Ministers being racists. Jai Hind 🇮🇳 #BoycottMaldives #Maldives #MaldivesKMKB .” 

Had a 3 week booking worth ₹5 lacs from 1st Feb 2024 at Palms Retreat, Fulhadhoo, Maldives. Cancelled it immediately after their Ministers being racists. 

Jai Hind 🇮🇳#BoycottMaldives #Maldives #MaldivesKMKB pic.twitter.com/wpfh47mG55

— Rushik Rawal (@RushikRawal) January 6, 2024

In solidarity with the nation, Nishant Pitti, CEO and Founder of EaseMyTrip announced suspension of bookings for Maldives flights on the ticketing platform. This is unprecedented. The EaseMyTrip owner posted on X, “In solidarity with our nation, @EaseMyTrip has suspended all Maldives flight bookings #TravelUpdate #SupportingNation #LakshadweepTourism #ExploreIndianlslands #Lakshadweep #ExploreIndianIslands @kishanreddybjp @JM_Scindia @PMOIndia @tourismgoi @narendramodi @incredibleindia .” 

In solidarity with our nation, @EaseMyTrip has suspended all Maldives flight bookings ✈️ #TravelUpdate #SupportingNation #LakshadweepTourism #ExploreIndianlslands #Lakshadweep#ExploreIndianIslands @kishanreddybjp @JM_Scindia @PMOIndia @tourismgoi @narendramodi @incredibleindia https://t.co/wIyWGzyAZY

— Nishant Pitti (@nishantpitti) January 7, 2024

An Indian named Radhika Chaudhary tweeted, “Why should we Indians go to the Maldives when we have Lakshadweep It is more beautiful than the Maldives. Say No To Maldives #BoycottMaldives #ExploreIndianIslands | #Lakshadweep .” 

Why should we Indians go to the Maldives when we have Lakshadweep It is more beautiful than the Maldives. 

Say No To Maldives #BoycottMaldives#ExploreIndianIslands | #Lakshadweep pic.twitter.com/q1KIhLFljR

— Radhika Chaudhary (@Radhika8057) January 7, 2024

The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) released a statement post the surge in cancellations. "It is crucial to dispel any misconceptions with regard to the matter, and MATATO highlights that efforts to develop and foster Lakshwadweep island’s tourism sector have no discernible negative effect on the Maldives tourism industry," the statement read.

Tourism in Lakshadweep is set to boom thanks to the unfolding scenario after the insulting remark on PM Modi by the Maldives' ministers. Indian celebrities like Akshay Kumar, Sachin Tendulkar, John Abraham and many others immediately promoted Lakshadweep and other Indian regions for tourism.

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Published January 8th, 2024 at 08:26 IST

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