Maldives

Maldives holds touring exhibition across India to revive tourism

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Many Indian tourists, including celebrities, decided to cancel bookings in the Maldives after three Maldivian officials made derogatory remarks about Prime Minister Narendra Modi Shutterstock

In an effort to reignite interest among Indian tourists, the Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tourism Operators (MATATO) has announced plans to hold roadshows in major Indian cities.

The move comes amid a drop in tourist numbers from India following a social media controversy earlier this year. Many Indian tourists, including celebrities, have chosen to cancel bookings in the Maldives after three Maldivian officials made derogatory remarks against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As a result, India slipped from the most visited country to sixth place.

In an effort to reverse this trend, Matato held discussions with Indian High Commissioner to the Maldives Munu Mahawal to explore ways to strengthen travel and tourism ties between the two countries. According to statistics from the Maldives Ministry of Tourism, as of April 10, India ranked sixth in the number of tourists to the Maldives, with 37,417 tourists this year.

Following discussions at the Indian High Commission in Malin, Matato announced plans to work closely with Indian authorities to promote tourism. This includes conducting comprehensive roadshows in major Indian cities and organizing influencer and media familiarization tours to the Maldives in the coming months.

MATATO highlighted the importance of the Indian market and underlined its commitment to partner with prominent Indian tourism associations and industry stakeholders to promote Maldives as a premier tourism destination.

The association hailed the meeting with the Indian High Commissioner as evidence of its commitment to promoting strong tourism relations between the Maldives and India, paving the way for collaboration to drive sustainable growth in tourism in the region.

The move follows an earlier diplomatic spat when Maldivian President Mohamed Muizou demanded the withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the country, citing sovereignty concerns. Muizou promised that Indian military personnel will not stay in the Maldives after May 10.

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