Maldives: MATATO begins survey to assess impact on hotel reservations in regard to Indian market

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Male [Maldives], January 9: Amid the ongoing spat between the Maldives and India, The Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) has begun a survey to assess the impact on hotel reservations in regard to the Indian source market.
“We are inviting various stakeholders to participate in MATATO survey to assess the impact of recent online events on hotel reservations in regard to Indian source market. Your insights are crucial in understanding the industry’s current situation,” the association said.
The survey asked for hotel information, cancellation statistics, reasons for cancellations, impact on revenue, future outlook, communication and public relations, recommendations.
A massive row was triggered after the Maldives deputy minister, along with other cabinet members and government officials, made disparaging and unsavoury references to PM Modi’s Lakshadweep visit.
This was followed by several influencers and celebrities giving a Boycott Maldives call on social media and championing the visit to Indian Islands. Reports also suggested that some Indian tourists had cancelled bookings to the Maldives.
On January 2, PM Modi visited the Union Territory of Lakshadweep and shared several pictures, including an ‘exhilarating experience’ of him trying his hand at snorkelling.
In a series of posts on X, PM Modi shared pictures of the white beaches, the pristine blue skies and the ocean and tagged them with a message that read, “For those who wish to embrace the adventurer in them, Lakshadweep has to be on your list.”
In a post that has now been deleted, the Maldivian Deputy Minister of Youth Empowerment, Mariyam Shiuna, made a mocking and disrespectful reference to PM Modi.
Indians, including cricketers and film celebrities, have since come out in open support in promoting local beach destinations and other tourist spots. They also voiced support for PM Modi’s call for promoting beach tourism in Lakshadweep.
The Maldives government has, however, distanced itself from the remarks made by its ministers. Maldivian Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer said that these remarks against foreign leaders are “unacceptable” and do not reflect the official position of the Maldives government.

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