EaseMyTrip suspends all Maldives flight bookings amid India-Maldives row

In the midst of an escalating row between India and the Maldives, hashtag #BoycottMaldives gained traction on social media as Indian tourists started canceling their scheduled vacations to the island nation.

January 08, 2024 10:00 am | Updated January 10, 2024 07:02 am IST - New Delhi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on one of the pristine beaches, in Lakshadweep on January 4, 2024. Amid escalating tensions between India and the Maldives following derisive comments about PM Modi, celebrities from the Indian film industry have started a “visit Lakshadweep” campaign under the hashtag #ExploreIndianIslands.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on one of the pristine beaches, in Lakshadweep on January 4, 2024. Amid escalating tensions between India and the Maldives following derisive comments about PM Modi, celebrities from the Indian film industry have started a “visit Lakshadweep” campaign under the hashtag #ExploreIndianIslands. | Photo Credit: ANI

The co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of EaseMyTrip, Nishant Pitti, has announced the suspension of all Maldives flight bookings following the derogatory remarks made by Maldives ministers against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Standing in support of India, Nishant Pitti took to social media X, stating, "In solidarity with our nation, @EaseMyTrip has suspended all Maldives flight bookings.

Also Read | MakeMyTrip observes 3,400% rise in Lakshadweep searches on platform since PM Modi’s visit

Online travel solutions provider EaseMyTrip began visit Lakshadweep campaign by #ChaloLakshadweep. In his post on X, he said, "Water & beaches of Lakshadweep are as good as Maldives/Seychelles We at @EaseMyTrip will come up with crazy special-offers to promote this pristine destination that our PM @narendramodi has recently visited!

In the midst of an escalating row between India and the Maldives, hashtag #BoycottMaldives gained traction on social media as Indian tourists started canceling their scheduled vacations to the island nation.

Maldivian politicians triggered a controversy by making disparaging remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi and ridiculing his visit to Lakshadweep, portraying it as a tourist destination for Indians.

Earlier in the day, the Indian Association of Tour Operators predicted that the call for a boycott would become apparent within the next 20-25 days.

Sudden drop in inquiry on Maldives

Many Indians on social media have claimed that they have cancelled their planned holidays to the island nation."Suddenly, there has been no inquiry on Maldives. There are sudden drops. Those who have made payments will not cancel them. We are expecting that people will not book trips to the Maldives," Rajiv Mehra, president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, said.

Another operator echoed a similar sentiment, stating that such statements by politicians prevent people from choosing a particular nation for a trip.

Also Read | Maldives President Muizzu arrives in China on five-day State visit

The Maldives is a popular place among Indians as a tourist destination. Indian tourists were the highest among visitors to the Maldives till December 2023, according to data from the country's tourism ministry.

The largest number of tourists who visited the Maldives were from India (2,09,198), followed by Russia (2,09,146) and China (1,87,118).

"Maldives is quite popular among Indians. But this incident will have an impact. We are also seeing an impact right now as well. We are expecting a downfall in people choosing the Maldives as a tourist destination," a Delhi-based tour operator said on the condition of anonymity.

Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha Shareef, and Mahzoom Majid were suspended over their remarks against PM Modi, which triggered a massive backlash.

Shiuna made derogatory remarks against PM Modi on social media platform X. The post by Shiuna, which has now been deleted, featured images of PM Modi from his recent visit to Lakshadweep.

Following their remarks, the Maldives government suspended three ministers over their derogatory remarks against PM Modi.

Meanwhile, amid escalating tensions between India and the Maldives following derisive comments about PM Modi, celebrities from the Indian film industry have started a "visit Lakshadweep" campaign under the hashtag #ExploreIndianIslands.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.