Updated January 8th, 2024 at 16:50 IST

EaseMyTrip Suspends All Maldives' Flight Bookings After India-Maldives Diplomatic Row on Lakshadweep

Online travel booking platform EaseMyTrip, on Monday, suspended all flight bookings to Maldives after a diplomatic row erupted between India and Maldives.

Reported by: Radhika Dhawad
Maldives | Image:Unsplash
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Lakshadweep: Ever since Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the pristine and serene beaches of Lakshadweep on January 4, the Union Territory has bagged the top spot as the most searched keyword on Google in India. 

The search for the Union Territory, on Friday, surged after more than 50,000 users searched Lakshadweep on Google. Online travel booking platform EaseMyTrip, on Monday, suspended all flight bookings to Maldives after a diplomatic row erupted between India and Maldives after PM Modi's Lakshadweep visit. 

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Taking to X, the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EaseMyTrip, Nishant Pitti, wrote, "In solidarity with our nation, @EaseMyTrip has suspended all Maldives flight bookings."

The row erupted after three Deputy Ministers of Maldives criticised PM Modi for his post on 'X' following his visit to Lakshadweep. They inferred that it was an attempt to project the Union Territory as an alternative tourist destination to the Maldives.

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The act led to the suspension of the ministers by the Maldives government for derogatory social media posts against PM Modi. 

Several Maldivian media outlets, quoting officials, reported that deputy ministers in the youth ministry, Malsha Shareef, Mariyam Shiuna and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid, have been suspended over their posts. The row erupted on a day President Dr Mohamed Muizzu embarked on a week-long visit to China.

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Online travel company MakeMyTrip, on Monday, claimed that their platform witnessed a massive 3400% surge in the searches for Lakshadweep after PM Modi's recent visit to the union territory.

MakeMyTrip took to X, formerly Twitter, and wrote, "NewsFlash: We have observed a 3400% increase in on-platform searches for Lakshadweep ever since Honorable PM’s visit." 

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It further said, “This interest in Indian beaches has inspired us to launch a 'Beaches of India' campaign on the platform with offers and discounts to encourage Indian travellers to explore country’s stunning beaches. Keep watching this space!”

PM Modi, who was in Lakshadweep on January 2 and 3 to inaugurate several projects, also went snorkelling to explore undersea life. He posted pictures of his undersea exploration on X and early morning walks on the pristine beaches.

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The PM wrote on X, "For those who wish to embrace the adventurer in them, Lakshadweep has to be on your list. During my stay, I also tried snorkelling - what an exhilarating experience it was." 

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Published January 8th, 2024 at 16:48 IST