Online travel company MakeMyTrip said in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday that it has seen more than 3,400 per cent jump in searches related to Lakshadweep since Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the island and added that the company is launching a special campaign for India’s “stunning beaches”. However, the users of the social media platform were not impressed by the statistics and instead asked the company to suspend booking to Maldives over the derogatory remarks made by some of the country’s ministers against PM Modi.
In the X post, shared as a news flash, MakeMyTrip announced, “We have observed a 3400% increase in on-platform searches for Lakshadweep ever since Honorable PM’s visit.”
“This interest in Indian beaches has inspired us to launch a ‘Beaches of India’ campaign on the platform with offers and discounts to encourage Indian travellers to explore country’s stunning beaches. Keep watching this space!” it further said.
NewsFlash: We have observed a 3400% increase in on-platform searches for Lakshadweep ever since Honorable PM’s visit.
This interest in Indian beaches has inspired us to launch a ‘Beaches of India’ campaign on the platform with offers and discounts to encourage Indian travellers… pic.twitter.com/4CYb1iApZG
— MakeMyTrip (@makemytrip) January 8, 2024
Within an hour, the post amassed more than 3,000 views and the number kept increasing as more and more users posted comments demanding removal of Maldives as a destination on the platform.
“Cancel flights and tickets to Maldives. That’s the only option you have, else switching to EaseMyTrip,” commented one user.
Another user tagged MakeMyTrip CEO Deep Kalra and said, “Do you have the will to stop Maldives’ bookings or will you make hay since your smaller competitor has stopped it? Though I am an MMTBlack member, I will be using @EaseMyTrip a lot more given their bold step.”
Earlier on Monday, EaseMyTrip co-founder and Executive Director Prashant Pitti said bookings to the Maldives were suspended “indefinitely”.
India and Russia send the largest number of visitors to the Maldives, a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean that is home to many luxury resorts. Tourism accounts for almost one-third of its economy, according to the World Bank.
The controversy over comments by three now-suspended Maldivian ministers about PM Modi comes just as President Mohamed Muizzu embarks for China on his first state visit from January 8-12, breaking from the convention of most Maldivian leaders choosing New Delhi to be their first international port of call.