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.”
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.