Indians Shift Island Getaway from Maldives

Indian-Maldives Tension Reflects on Maldives Tourism

Indians Shift: India has lost its top spot as the largest contributor to tourist numbers in the Maldives, slipping to the fifth position in 2023, according to recent data from the Maldives’ tourism ministry.

The decline in Indian tourist numbers is attributed to growing geopolitical tensions between the two nations. Factors include Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep, leading to diplomatic fallout, and accusations from a Maldives minister that India targeted the nation, posing challenges in beach tourism competition.

Indians Shift Island

This shift in rankings is also influenced by strained diplomatic relations since President Mohamed Muizzu took office in November, signaling a closer alignment with China.

The Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) initiated impeachment proceedings against President Muizzu, accusing him of a pro-China stance after a controversial docking of a Chinese spy ship in Male.

President Muizzu’s recent call for the withdrawal of Indian troops stationed in the Maldives by mid-March has further strained relations, drawing condemnation from the MDP as extremely detrimental to the country’s long-term development.

The Maldives, strategically positioned in the Indian Ocean, holds significance in India’s regional initiatives such as SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) and the Neighbourhood First Policy.

The evolving dynamics between India and the Maldives highlight the complexities of regional geopolitics and the challenges in maintaining diplomatic equilibrium in the Indian Ocean region.

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