‘Be part of our tourism’: Maldives urges India amid strained diplomatic ties

Minister Ibrahim Faisal stressed the historical relations between both nations

Maldives tourism Representative Image

Amid strained bilateral ties, the number of Indian tourists visiting Maldives has come down over the last few months. In the wake of the dwindling tourists, Maldives Tourism Minister Ibrahim Faisal urged India to be a part of its tourism. 

During an interview with PTI, Faisal stressed the historical relations between Maldives and India. 

"We have a history. Our newly elected government also wants to work together (with India). We always promote peace and a friendly environment. Our people and the government will give a warm welcome to Indian arrivals. As the Tourism Minister, I want to tell Indians to please be a part of Maldives' tourism. Our economy depends on tourism," he said.

After derogatory remarks made against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media by three Maldivian officials, the Maldives-India relations got strained. 

Several Indians, including celebrities, cancelled their reservations and dropped plans to visit Maldives. #BoycottMaldives was trending on social media platforms as well. 

According to a sun. mv report published on Monday, the number of tourist arrivals from India declined by 42 per cent in the first four months of this year compared to the first four months of last year.

At the start of the year, India was the top tourist market for the Maldives. According to Tourism Ministry statistics, Maldives recorded a total of 43,991 tourist arrivals from India as of May 4. Between January and April of last year, Maldives recorded 73,785 tourist arrivals. This year, the number stands at 42,638.

Since President Mohamed Muizzu assumed office in November last year, the India-Maldives relations started to get affected. The India-Maldives ties have come under stress as President Muizzu, widely seen as a pro-China leader, maintained after assuming charge as the president in November that he will keep his election promise of evicting Indian military personnel from his country.


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