Tourism Minister Ibrahim Faisal speaks at a press conference held at the Arabian Travel Market Fair. Photo/MMPRC

"India tourists always welcome, come to Maldives", urges tourism minister

"As the tourism minister, I want to say that Indian tourists should be a part of Maldives' tourism".

7 May 2024

By Aishath Fareeha Abdulla

Tourism Minister Ibrahim Faisal has assured that the Maldives will always welcome Indian tourists and would like tourists from India to come to the Maldives, and be a part of Maldivian tourism.

In an interview with the Press Trust of India (PTI) during the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) fair in Dubai, Faisal said Maldives and India have a long-standing relationship which the current government is also determined to maintain.

India has been the primary tourist source market in the past three years. Earlier this year, however, three Maldivian government officials made derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which sparked a campaign in India calling out to boycott Maldives.

The number of tourists from the country has declined month-on-month since then. The number of tourists from India declined by 42% in the first four months of this year compared to the same period last year, according to the Tourism Ministry.

Speaking to PTI, Faisal said Maldives will always promote peace and friendship and the government and people of Maldives will welcome Indian tourists.

"As the tourism minister, I want to say that Indian tourists should be a part of Maldives' tourism… Maldives' economy is based on tourism," Faisal said.

India is a populous country and its market is an important contributor to Maldivian tourism, he said.