India Drops To 5th In Maldives Tourism Rankings, Was No.1 In 2023

India Drops To fifth In Maldives Tourism Rankings, Was No.1 In 2023

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As of December 31 final 12 months, India had held the highest place by way of the variety of vacationers.

New Delhi:

The Maldives has skilled a notable shift in its vacationer demographics over the previous three weeks, as information from the island nation’s tourism ministry reveals a major drop in Indian guests from the third to the fifth largest group. 

The statistics, obtained as of January 28 replicate the newest developments in diplomatic relations between India and the Maldives.

In accordance with the official Maldivian government data, that is how international locations rank by way of arrivals within the archipelago. 

  1. Russia: 18,561 arrivals (10.6% market share, Rank 2 in 2023)
  2. Italy: 18,111 arrivals (10.4% market share, Rank 6 in 2023)
  3. China: 16,529 arrivals (9.5% market share, Rank 3 in 2023)
  4. UK: 14,588 arrivals (8.4% market share, Rank 4 in 2023)
  5. India: 13,989 arrivals (8.0% market share, Rank 1 in 2023)
  6. Germany: 10,652 arrivals (6.1% market share)
  7. USA: 6,299 arrivals (3.6% market share, Rank 7 in 2023)
  8. France: 6,168 arrivals (3.5% market share, Rank 8 in 2023)
  9. Poland: 5,109 arrivals (2.9% market share, Rank 14 in 2023)
  10. Switzerland: 3,330 arrivals (1.9% market share, Rank 10 in 2023)

As of December 31 final 12 months, India had held the top position by way of the variety of vacationers, with 209,198 arrivals, constituting practically 11 per cent of the Maldives’ tourism marketplace for that 12 months. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s seashore tour to Lakshadweep on January 2 and a diplomatic fallout with the Maldives triggered a major decline in Indian vacationer numbers.

The controversy gained momentum when a Maldives minister accused India of focusing on the nation, asserting that India faces challenges in competing with the Maldives in seashore tourism. Diplomatic tensions between the 2 international locations have been escalating, particularly since President Mohamed Muizzu assumed workplace in November final 12 months, signaling a shift in international coverage in the direction of nearer ties with China and a departure from the earlier “India first” method.

The flare-up has led to impeachment proceedings in opposition to President Muizzu initiated by the principle opposition social gathering, the Maldivian Democratic Celebration (MDP). The opposition social gathering accuses President Muizzu of a pro-China stance, notably after the controversial docking of a Chinese language spy ship in its capital Male. A row in parliament ensued, culminating within the resolution to start impeachment proceedings.

President Muizzu’s anti-India rhetoric reached new heights, with the demand for the withdrawal of Indian troops stationed within the Maldives by mid-March, citing their presence as a safety menace. The MDP condemned the coverage shift, labeling it as “extraordinarily detrimental” to the nation’s long-term improvement.

The Maldives, situated strategically within the Indian Ocean, stays a key participant in India’s regional initiatives corresponding to ‘SAGAR’ (Safety and Development for All within the Area) and the ‘Neighbourhood First Coverage.’

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