28, February, 2024
HomeIndiaDiplomatic Tensions Spark Travel Shift: Indians Reroute Vacation Plans Amidst Maldives Controversy

Diplomatic Tensions Spark Travel Shift: Indians Reroute Vacation Plans Amidst Maldives Controversy

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In the wake of escalating diplomatic tensions, a wave of cancellations hits Maldives-bound vacations for many Indians, reacting to what they perceive as ‘Hinduphobic’ remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The controversy, sparked by Maldives Minister Mariyam Shiuna’s alleged derogatory comments, has not only triggered outrage but also fueled the viral hashtag ‘BoycottMaldives’ on social media platforms across India.

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Reports and social media anecdotes reveal a growing number of Indian travelers opting to reroute their holiday destinations, redirecting their tourism spending away from the Maldives. The hashtag #BoycottMaldives has surged to become a prominent trend, reflecting the public sentiment towards the perceived affront against their national leader.

One Twitter user, expressing disdain, shared, “I had planned a vacation to Maldives in February, I’m going to cancel the same and visit a place domestically. Will not let my money go to someone who hates my country.” Another regretful traveler lamented, “I went to Maldives a few months back, and with the things going around, I wish I hadn’t gone…I gifted my Niece her honeymoon package, and I have now asked my agent to cancel. Yes, I am losing 50k in the process, but it’s worth it.”

The controversy erupted when Mariyam Shiuna, Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Information, and Arts, allegedly made derogatory remarks against PM Modi on Twitter. Referring to him as a ‘clown’ and a ‘puppet of Israel,’ Shiuna’s comments were met with backlash from both Indian and Maldivian citizens.

Screenshots of the controversial tweet circulated on social media, although the authenticity remains unverified as the tweet has reportedly been deleted. Additionally, the cancellation of hotel bookings and flight tickets, though widely claimed, awaits independent media verification.

Maldivian citizens themselves condemned Shiuna’s comments, criticizing the official for her unprofessional conduct. Former Maldives President Mohamed Nasheed added his voice, slamming Shiuna’s “appalling language” against PM Modi and urging the government to distance itself from such comments.

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As the controversy unfolds, questions arise about the potential impact on Maldives’ economy, heavily reliant on tourism, with Indians constituting a significant portion of annual visitors. The fallout from this diplomatic row may reshape travel choices, leaving a lasting imprint on the dynamics between the two nations.

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