Lakshadweep Vs Maldives : 3400% surge in Lakshadweep-related searches following PM Modi's visit

MakeMyTrip sees a 3400% spike in Lakshadweep searches post-PM Modi's visit, launching 'Beaches of India' campaign. Users demand Maldives booking suspension over derogatory remarks. EaseMyTrip takes a stand, suspending Maldives bookings indefinitely, impacting the Maldivian tourism sector heavily reliant on Indian visitors.
3400% surge in Lakshadweep-related searches following PM Modi's visit
3400% surge in Lakshadweep-related searches following PM Modi's

Online travel giant MakeMyTrip reported a remarkable 3400% surge in Lakshadweep-related searches following PM Modi's visit. In response, the company unveiled a special 'Beaches of India' campaign, emphasizing the nation's scenic coastlines. However, social media users urged MakeMyTrip to suspend Maldives bookings due to derogatory remarks against PM Modi made by some Maldivian ministers. Within hours, the post gained over 3,000 views, triggering a call for the removal of Maldives as a destination on the platform.

Calls to Cancel Maldives Bookings

Displeased users flooded MakeMyTrip's post, demanding the suspension of Maldives bookings. Some users vowed to switch to competing platforms like EaseMyTrip, which had already announced the indefinite suspension of Maldives bookings. The controversy stems from derogatory comments made by three now-suspended Maldivian ministers about PM Modi. 

Maldives, a key tourist destination, receives a significant number of visitors from India and Russia, with tourism contributing nearly one-third to its economy, as per the World Bank.

Indefinite Suspension of Maldives Bookings

EaseMyTrip's co-founder and Executive Director, Prashant Pitti, took a bold step by announcing the indefinite suspension of Maldives bookings. This decision aligns with the outrage over the offensive remarks against PM Modi. The move is notable as most Maldivian leaders traditionally choose New Delhi for their first international visits. The controversy unfolds as Maldivian President Mohamed Muizzu embarks on a state visit to China from January 8-12.

Tourism Impact and Economic Significance

The Maldives, known for its luxury resorts, relies heavily on tourism, which accounts for almost one-third of its economy. The suspension of bookings to the Maldives by major travel platforms reflects the repercussions of offensive comments against Indian leaders. The controversy puts the Maldivian tourism industry, a crucial economic pillar, under scrutiny and may influence travel preferences among Indian tourists.

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'Beaches of India' Campaign

MakeMyTrip's astute response to the surge in Lakshadweep interest involves launching the 'Beaches of India' campaign. The initiative aims to capitalize on the growing enthusiasm for Indian beaches, offering special deals to encourage domestic travelers to explore the nation's picturesque coastal destinations. The move aligns with MakeMyTrip's strategic approach to leverage emerging travel trends and capitalize on heightened interest in specific destinations.

As online travel platforms navigate the complex interplay between promoting tourism and addressing societal concerns, striking a balance becomes crucial. MakeMyTrip's dual strategy of promoting Indian beaches while addressing user concerns over Maldives bookings exemplifies the evolving landscape where travel companies are increasingly mindful of social and geopolitical dynamics impacting consumer choices. The ongoing controversy highlights the delicate balance these platforms must maintain to navigate the nuanced preferences and sentiments of their diverse user base.


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