Maldives to seek China’s support to boost tourism post India-Maldives controversy

The President of Maldives on his five day China visit stated the relation with China and seeks support to boost tourism amidst India-Maldives controversy.

The President of Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu stated to the Maldives business forum in Fujian Province during an official visit to China, “China was our (Maldives’) number one market pre-Covid, and it is my request that we intensify efforts for China to regain this position.”

These remarks of the President of Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu came in the wake of some derogatory remarks made by some ministers of Maldives against India, which eventually triggered the sentiments of Indians and due to which sharp reaction came from Indians to boycott Maldives as a tourism destination.

The President of Maldives urged China to intensify efforts in sending more tourists from China. After the derogatory statements made by some ministers of Maldives against the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, for promoting Lakshadweep island as a tourism destination for Indian tourists, Maldives witnessed an uncontrollable travel cancellation by Indian tourists.

The President of Maldives is known for his pro-China stance and during his Tuesday address said, “China remains one of our closest allies and development partners.”

Through the reports of Maldives media it is reported that China and Maldives, both the countries have signed a USD 50 million project to develop tourism in Maldives. The President of Maldives went on to appreciate and praise the Belt and Road initiative of China that is also known as the BRI projects. BRI project was launched back in the 2014 in the archipelago nation in the Indian Ocean. The President of Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu also stated that these projects have delivered the most significant infrastructure projects in the history of Maldives.

After the derogatory remarks made and abusive post by the three deputy ministers of Maldives, the government suspended them from their designated posts and distanced themselves from the remarks. Meanwhile post this incident boycott Maldives started trending and people in India began their searches for travel to Lakshadweep. India has been the largest contributor to the tourism market of Maldives in the year 2023.