In a significant move responding to the Boycott Maldives campaign, EaseMyTrip, a prominent Indian online travel company, has decided to suspend all flight bookings to the Maldives.
This decision comes in the wake of derogatory remarks made by some now-suspended Maldivian ministers against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, following his recent visit to Lakshadweep.
Support for India: EaseMyTrip Stands United
Taking to social media, Nishant Pitti, the co-founder and CEO of EaseMyTrip, expressed solidarity with India, stating, “In solidarity with our nation, @EaseMyTrip has suspended all Maldives flight bookings.”
In solidarity with our nation, @EaseMyTrip has suspended all Maldives flight bookings ✈️ #TravelUpdate #SupportingNation #LakshadweepTourism #ExploreIndianlslands #Lakshadweep#ExploreIndianIslands @kishanreddybjp @JM_Scindia @PMOIndia @tourismgoi @narendramodi @incredibleindia https://t.co/wIyWGzyAZY— Nishant Pitti (@nishantpitti) January 7, 2024Advertisement
The move is seen as a response to the controversy surrounding derogatory social media posts by Maldivian ministers against Prime Minister Modi.
#ChaloLakshadweep Campaign Takes Flight
EaseMyTrip had previously launched the #ChaloLakshadweep campaign to promote Lakshadweep as a pristine tourist destination.
Prashant Pitti, in a post on January 4, emphasized the beauty of Lakshadweep’s water and beaches, comparing them to popular destinations like Maldives and Seychelles.
He announced the company’s commitment to offering special promotions to encourage tourism in Lakshadweep.
Escalation of #BoycottMaldives Movement
The boycott Maldives movement gained traction on social media platforms, with reports of Indian tourists cancelling their planned vacations to the Maldives. The controversy escalated after three Maldivian deputy ministers were suspended for their derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Modi and their attempt to discredit Lakshadweep as a tourist destination.
Maldivian Government Takes Action
The Maldivian government suspended the three deputy ministers—Malsha Shareef, Mariyam Shiuna, and Abdulla Mahzoom Majid—due to their inflammatory social media posts.
The controversy prompted India to express its concerns to the Maldives, leading to the immediate suspension of the officials responsible for the comments.
Indian Celebrities Join the Call
Notable Indian celebrities, including Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar, Sachin Tendulkar, and Virendra Sehwag joined the online discourse, urging people to explore domestic tourist destinations instead of visiting the Maldives.
250+ days since we rang in my 50th birthday in Sindhudurg!— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) January 7, 2024
The coastal town offered everything we wanted, and more. Gorgeous locations combined with wonderful hospitality left us with a treasure trove of memories.
India is blessed with beautiful coastlines and pristine… pic.twitter.com/DUCM0NmNCz
Social media platforms witnessed an outpouring of support for domestic travel, with actors and cricketers condemning the derogatory remarks made by the Maldivian ministers.
Maldivian Foreign Ministry Responds
The Maldivian foreign ministry acknowledged the “derogatory remarks” on social media but emphasized that these personal views did not represent the government’s official position. The suspension of the three deputy ministers reflects the government’s commitment to addressing the issue and maintaining diplomatic relations.
As the Boycott Maldives movement gains momentum, EaseMyTrip’s decision to suspend Maldives flight bookings adds another dimension to the ongoing controversy, further fueling the conversation on social media and within diplomatic circles.