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Saturday, April 20 2024
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Indian Trade Body Urges Tour Operators to Halt Maldives Promotion Amid Diplomatic Tensions

Maldives
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The Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has called upon Indian carriers operating in the Maldives to suspend their operations amid a diplomatic row over anti-India remarks made by some Maldivian ministers. In a statement issued by the ICC chairman, Subhash Goyal, all tourism and trade associations in India were urged to cease promoting the Maldives. Goyal, emphasizing his appeal as a “patriotic Indian in the larger national interest,” suggested redirecting tourism interest to alternative destinations such as Lakshadweep, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, Bali, and Phuket.

Despite acknowledging that Indians constitute a significant source of foreign exchange and job creation in the Maldives, Goyal urged the promotion of Lakshadweep as a superior alternative. He specifically called on Indian carriers operating in the Maldives to consider suspending their operations there and exploring opportunities under the Udaan Scheme in Lakshadweep.

The ICC chairman also extended the appeal to members of FHRAI and the Hotel Association of India, encouraging them to explore investment opportunities in Lakshadweep, anticipating better returns than those in the Maldives. Additionally, Goyal revealed that he had requested STIC Travels to halt the promotion and sale of Maldives travel packages.

In response to the controversy sparked by derogatory remarks made by Maldivian ministers, several Indian entities have taken action. EaseMyTrip, an online travel company, has suspended all flight bookings to the Maldives, while Make My Trip reported a remarkable 3400% surge in searches for Lakshadweep following Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the union territory.

The diplomatic tensions arose after the deputy minister of Maldives, along with other ministers, made racist comments targeting India and ridiculing Prime Minister Modi’s efforts to promote Lakshadweep as a tourist destination. In the wake of these comments, calls for a boycott of the Maldives gained traction on social media, with India officially raising the issue with the Maldivian government. The Maldivian government distanced itself from the derogatory remarks, stating that the leaders’ opinions were personal and did not represent the views of the Government of Maldives.

Read More:

  1. Maldives Minister Sparks Row with PM Modi’s Lakshadweep Visit; Mass Indian Trip Cancellations

  2. Maldives Takes Action Against Ministers Over Anti-Modi Comments

 

 

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