As Indian tourists visiting Maldives decline, tourism body plans road shows to boost travel

As Indian tourists visiting Maldives decline, tourism body plans road shows to boost travel


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NEW DELHI: In an attempt to woo Indian tourists back to Maldives, a major tourism body in the island nation has revealed plans to conduct road shows across several key Indian cities. The move comes as the number of Indian visitors to the Maldives has seen a decline in recent times.
The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) disclosed its intention to hold discussions with India’s high commissioner in the Maldives, Munu Mahawar, to explore ways to enhance travel and tourism cooperation between the two countries.
The decision to ramp up efforts to draw Indian tourists follows a significant backlash against the Maldives triggered by derogatory remarks made against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media by three Maldivian officials. This backlash led to numerous cancellations of reservations and a drop in plans to visit the Maldives by Indian tourists, including several celebrities.
According to statistics from the Maldives’ ministry of tourism, India, which was previously one of the top visitor countries, has slipped to the sixth position in terms of tourist arrivals. China currently leads with the highest number of tourists, followed by the United Kingdom, Russia, Italy, and Germany.
Following discussions held at the Indian high commission in Male, MATATO announced plans to collaborate closely with the Indian high commission to boost tourism initiatives. This includes launching comprehensive road shows across key Indian cities and organizing influencer and media familiarization trips to the Maldives in the coming months.
MATATO emphasized the importance of India as a crucial tourist market for the Maldives and expressed its eagerness to partner with prominent travel associations and industry stakeholders in India to promote the Maldives as a premier travel destination.
This initiative comes amid tensions between the Maldives and India, with Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu previously requesting the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the country, citing sovereignty concerns. Muizzu has announced plans to repatriate all Indian military personnel from the Maldives by May 10.
(With agency inputs)



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