Maldives Urges Indian Tourists Amid Controversy and Tourism Decline

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Maldives Urges Indian Tourists Amid Controversy and Tourism Decline

The controversy of Maldives with India has taken a new turn as the Tourism Minister of Maldives has urged Indians to visit the country. The relationship between both countries turned sour after the derogatory remarks by the officials of Maldives and concerns over racism, targeted towards Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as India. This strain promoted the tourism of Lakhshwadeep in India, resulting in the decline of Maldives tourism. It is worth noting that India is the top source country for tourists in Maldives and this strain badly affected their tourism sector which influenced their economy. 

To end this strain, The Maldivian tourism minister has urged Indian tourists to continue visiting the nation. While appealing for the same, Mr. Faisal also emphasised the historical ties between both nations. This appeal of Faisal came into the news during an interview with PTI. This video has been posted online which instantly gets viral and lures a lot of attention. In the video, the Tourism Minister of the archipelago nation can be heard saying, “We have a history. Our newly elected government also wants to work together (with India). We always promote peace and a friendly environment.”. 

He further added “Our people and the government will give a warm welcome to Indian arrivals. As the Tourism Minister, I want to tell Indians to please be a part of Maldives’ tourism. Our economy depends on tourism.” 

What Was The Controversy Of Maldives With India?

As we mentioned above, the derogatory remarks of the three Maldivian officials against India and PM Modi on social media ignited the outrage which resulted in a significant decline in Indian tourism arrivals. The nation and the officials faced backlash on social media and thousands of people cancelled their flights and hotels at that time. Moreover, the position of India as the top visitor country fell to sixth position after January. 

As per the report shared by, the tourist arrivals from India reduced by 42 per cent in the initial four months of 2024 comparatively to the same period in 2023. The rank of India on Maldives Tourism charts has been dropping ever since Mohamed Muizzu became the President of Maldives. Besides, the stressed relations between Maldives and India have been attributed to the new administration led by President Mohamed Muizzu. It is noteworthy that President Mohamed Muizzu is popularly known as a pro-China leader. 

Besides that, Maldives and India conducted a bilateral meeting to discuss the replacement of the Indian military personnel, going forward with the “India Out” campaign which was promised by the newly elected President Mohamed Muizzu at the time of the election campaign. 

During the interview, the minister further stated that “Discussions were held on a wide range of issues of mutual interest, including development and defence cooperation. Both sides noted with satisfaction that the Government of India will replace military personnel at the last of the three aviation platforms by May 10, and all the logistical arrangements are going ahead as per schedule.” 

Speaking of the reports, Between January 1- April 15, almost 39,000 Indians visited Maldives, a reduction of almost 40 per cent, compared to the 64,250 arrivals for the same period last year. 

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