Indian tour operators, ET TravelWorld


<p>Image used for representation only<br /></p>
Image used for representation only

Tour operators in India are gearing up for an impact of calls for a cancellation of holidays in the Maldives as they said that there are “no new inquiries by people” for visits to the island nation. The Indian Association of Tour Operators predicts that the repercussions of recent events and the call for a boycott will become apparent within the next 20-25 days.

However, the operators deny reports of mass cancellations, stating, “If a person has paid an advance for plane tickets and hotels, they will not cancel it.” Many Indians on social media have claimed that they have cancelled their planned holidays to the island nation.

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.

“Suddenly, there has been no inquiry on Maldives. There are sudden drops. Those who have made payments will not cancel them. We are expecting that people will not book trips to the Maldives,” Rajiv Mehra, president of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, said.

When asked whether the reports of mass cancellation are true, Mehra replied, “People have spent lakhs of rupees, but they are not cancelling it. Those who have not made payments are expected to back out. But the real impact of the boycott will be visible in the next 25 days as there are no new inquiries.”

The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) is the national body for the tourism industry. It has over 1600 members, covering all segments of the tourism industry. Another operator echoed a similar sentiment, stating that such statements by politicians prevent people from choosing a particular nation for a trip.

Moreover, the Maldives was quite popular among Indians as a tourist destination. Indian tourists were the highest among visitors to the Maldives till December 2023, according to data from the country’s tourism ministry.

PM Modi's Lakshadweep visit brings attention to its immense potential for tourism: Jaishankar

External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar on Friday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Lakshadweep has drawn global attention to the archipelago and its immense tourism potential. PM Modi recently visited the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and shared several pictures, including an ‘exhilarating experience’ after he tried his hand at snorkelling.

The largest number of tourists who visited the Maldives were from India (2,09,198), followed by Russia (2,09,146) and China (1,87,118).

“Maldives is quite popular among Indians. But this incident will have an impact. We are also seeing an impact right now as well. We are expecting a downfall in people choosing the Maldives as a tourist destination,” a Delhi-based tour operator said on the condition of anonymity.

The Maldives government on Sunday suspended three ministers over their derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mariyam Shiuna, Malsha Shareef, and Mahzoom Majid were suspended over their remarks against PM Modi, which triggered a massive backlash.

Shiuna made derogatory remarks against PM Modi on social media platform X. The post by Shiuna, which has now been deleted, featured images of PM Modi from his recent visit to Lakshadweep.

  • Published On Jan 8, 2024 at 10:01 AM IST

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