EaseMyTrip suspends all flight bookings to island nation, redirect focus on Lakshadweep, ET TravelWorld

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Amidst the ongoing social media buzz around boycotting Maldives and promoting Lakshadweep and Indian beach destinations after derogatory remarks made by Maldivian leaders, leading online travel agency EaseMyTrip has announced that has suspended all flight bookings to Maldives and announced to stop further Maldives bookings on its portal.

Standing in solidarity with the public sentiment, the company said, ‘nation comes first, business later’. Making the announcement, Nishant Pitti, CEO, EaseMyTrip on social media platforms however didn’t mention further details about when the booking will remain suspended.

In a separate post supporting the CEO, Prashant Pitti, Co-Founder, EaseMyTrip issued a video on social media declaring that the EMT will no longer accept travel bookings for the Maldives and instead, it will redirect its focus to promoting Lakshadweep and Ayodhya, emphasising the potential of these destination and pushing domestic tourism in India.

“Every year, 3 lakh tourists from our nation travel to the Maldives, however now they will be unable to use this feature on EaseMyTrip. We have announced five new packages online on EaseMyTrip to promote Lakshadweep and we are proposing that more airlines should offer direct flight service to Lakshadweep from major Indian metro cities. I urge that other Indian travel platforms should also support our appeal,” Pitti said in the video.

He added, “In addition to promoting Lakshadweep, we are also promoting Ayodhya. I hope that Ayodhya develops into a popular international tourist attraction, akin to Lakshadweep, where visitors arrive in the spring and foreign travel to our nation rises. To advance our nation, we would like other airlines and travel websites to join our cause.”

Indian celebs rally against Maldivian leaders' derogatory remarks, advocate for promoting domestic tourism

Several Indian celebrities have strongly criticized derogatory remarks by Maldivian leaders against India and expressed support for promoting Indian beach tourism . This comes amid the row over derogatory and ‘anti-India’ remarks made by Maldives minister, leaders and other public figures after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the union territory of Lakshadweep.

Taking forward the #ChaloLakshadweep campaign on social media, Pitti also said that EaseMyTrip will come up with special offers for travellers making bookings for the now-popular beach destination.Meanwhile, several Indian celebrities including Bollywood actors and sports stars continue to support the promotion of Lakshadweep on social media and encourage travellers to explore Indian islands.

On the other hand, the country’s largest travel agency, MakeMyTrip informed that it has observed a 3400 per cent increase in on-platform searches for Lakshadweep since PM Modi’s recent visit to the union territory. The company has also announced the launch of a new ‘Beaches of India’ campaign.

No new inquiry for holidays in Maldives; impact of boycott will be visible in coming days: Indian tour operators

The founder of Make My Trip, Deep Kalra, said that there has been no mass cancellation of planned holidays by Indians to the island nation. “We have not noticed such a pattern as of now. There has been no such mass cancellation,” Kalra said. Meanwhile, the Indian Association of Tour Operators said that the impact of the chain of events and the call for a boycott will be visible in 20-25 days.

  • Published On Jan 8, 2024 at 03:09 PM IST

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