Indian tourists in Maldives nearly doubled to 11% in 5 years

Syllabus: GS-II

Subject: International Relations

Topic: India and its neighborhood- relations.

Issue: India-Maldives Row.

Diplomatic feud after Maldivian ministers insult Modi post-Lakshadweep visit. India tops Maldives tourism; potential repercussions on travel industry emerge.Top of FormTop of Form


  • In 2023, Indian tourists surged to 11.2% of Maldives’ total arrivals, doubling since 2018.
  • Post-Modi’s Lakshadweep visit, a diplomatic crisis unfolded with three Maldivian ministers making derogatory remarks. The Maldives government responded by suspending the ministers.
  • Despite India consistently leading tourism shares in 2020, 2021, and 2022 (11.3%, 22.1%, and 14.4%, respectively), the current controversy may impact the tourism industry.
  • Ease My Trip suspended Maldives ticket sales, sparking concerns, but no Indian carriers have altered schedules.
  • This incident underscores the complex intersection of travel, tourism, and geopolitics, especially for destinations heavily reliant on key source markets.
  • CAPA India highlights India’s outbound travel growth at 15% per annum, citing past instances of travel boycott calls.
  • India holds a significant position as the top source market for neighboring destinations and ranks in the top five for others, signaling potential influence on global travel patterns in the future.




Conclusion: Diplomatic tensions risk short-term impact on Maldives tourism; underscores the growing role of geopolitics in travel as Indian outbound rises.

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