As the protests against Maldives escalated, Nishant Pitti, CEO and founder of EaseMyTrip, announced the suspension of flight bookings to Maldives. The move follows a direct response to the insulting remarks made by Maldivian ministers against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Pitti announced the suspension of booking flights to the Maldives through a post on social media X, saying: “In support of our country, @EaseMyTrip .. EaseMyTrip launched a Lakshadweep visit campaign of #ChaloLakshadweep.
The dispute between India and the Maldives, marked by the hashtag #BoycottMaldives, has gained momentum on social media, leading Indian tourists to cancel their pre-booked trips to the island.
The controversy started when Maldivian politicians hurled insults at Prime Minister Narendra Modi and criticized his visit to Lakshadweep, describing the region as only a tourist destination for Indians. Earlier, the Indian Tourism Board had predicted that the campaign would be unveiled in the next 20-25 days. Meanwhile, if you scroll through social media, you will see that many Indians have said on social media that they have already canceled their Maldives vacation plans. Not only celebrities but even cricketers have joined the Maldives boycott campaign.
Reportedly, there are sudden drops in Maldives booking, and it’s likely that people will not book trips to the Maldives as of now.
The Maldives, a sought-after tourist destination, particularly popular among Indian travellers, has witnessed a surge in its popularity. If data from the Maldives’ Tourism Ministry are taken into consideration, it reveals that Indian tourists constituted the highest number of visitors to the country as of December 2023, with a total of 209,198 visitors, surpassing other nations, with Russia closely following at 209,146 visitors.
After the controversy, Maldivian ministers Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha Shareef and Mahzoom Majid stopped for their comments against Prime Minister Modi, leading to a public outcry. Shiuna made an offensive statement against Prime Minister Modi on social media, prompting the Maldives government to take action by suspending the three ministers for their disrespectful comments.
As tensions escalate between India and the Maldives following these outrageous statements against Prime Minister Modi, celebrities from the Indian film industry have launched a ‘Visit Lakshadweep’ campaign, using the hashtag #ExploreIndianIslands, which – get faster over time.