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Following Offensive Remarks, EaseMyTrip Extends Maldives Booking Suspension

Fueled by the ongoing controversy surrounding offensive remarks about Prime Minister Modi’s Lakshadweep visit, Indian travel agency EaseMyTrip reaffirmed its indefinite booking suspension to the Maldives on Thursday. In a statement titled “Nation First, Business Later,” the company cited national pride and highlighted India’s extensive coastline with its own breathtaking beaches.

“Motivated by the recent disrespectful comments made by Maldivian officials towards India, its citizens, and Prime Minister Modi, we have indefinitely suspended all travel bookings to the Maldives, effective January 8th. This decision reflects our commitment to national pride and prioritizing it over business interests.”

Expressing gratitude for public support online, EaseMyTrip concluded with a call to national unity: “Your social media voices reflect our shared love for India. Let’s stand together in this.” Meanwhile, Prime Minister Modi’s Lakshadweep visit in January, showcasing its tourism potential, remains a focal point.

Prime Minister Modi shared picturesque glimpses of Lakshadweep’s untouched beaches, including his “thrilling” snorkeling experience. However, the visit sparked controversy when Maldivian Deputy Minister Mariyam Shiuna posted a derisive social media comment, later deleted, about the visit. This ignited online outrage, with #BoycottMaldives trending and Indian celebrities advocating for promoting domestic beach tourism, particularly in Lakshadweep.

Faced with mounting online anger over the disrespectful remarks, the Maldivian government quickly distanced itself, with Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer calling them “unacceptable.” However, India remained unsatisfied, summoning the Maldivian envoy to register a formal protest.

Indians topped the charts in Maldivian tourism in 2023, with a whopping 209,198 arrivals, followed closely by Russia (209,146) and China (187,118).
While India led the pack with 240,000 visitors in 2022, the Maldives also witnessed significant arrivals from Russia (198,000) and Britain (177,000), highlighting its draw for various international travelers.

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