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Business News/ News / India/  India slips to 6th rank on Maldives Tourism charts as President Mohamed Muizzu welcomes China

India slips to 6th rank on Maldives Tourism charts as President Mohamed Muizzu welcomes China

India-Maldives diplomatic row: India had topped the chart showing the Maldives' tourism market share till December last year. India's rank has been dropping since January 2 this year.

Maldives president Mohammed Muizzu (HT_PRINT)Premium
Maldives president Mohammed Muizzu (HT_PRINT)

India slipped to sixth spot on the 'Top 10 Markets' list of Maldives Tourism, as per a daily report released by the island nation's Ministry of Tourism on March 4. India's rank on Maldives Tourism charts has been dropping ever since Mohamed Muizzu became Maldives' President.

India dominated the Maldives tourism market until December last year, with a share of over 11 percent as of December 31, 2023. Its position started declining starting January 2 this year, when India ranked third among the top 10 countries that make most of the Maldives' tourism market share. India's rank further plunged to fifth on January 21 and then to sixth on March 3.

Meanwhile, China has steadily climbed the chart from 10th to the first spot. China now makes the most — around 12 percent on March 5 — of the total tourist arrivals in Maldives. Other countries ahead of India as of March 5 are Russia (2nd rank), Italy (3rd rank), the UK (4th rank) and Germany (5th rank).


Maldives Tourism charts
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Maldives Tourism charts (Ministry of Tourism, Maldives)

The declining number of tourists from India and the subsequent increase in that from China is in line with Muizzu's policies and deals that seem snub India and welcome China.

Within days of taking charge as the new Maldives President Muizzu asked India to withdraw its military personnel from Maldives by May 10. Later, he reportedly announced that the country would not renew an agreement with India to conduct hydrographic surveys.

At the same time, Maldives signed a military pact with China. Muizzu said this week that the Chinese government is ready to extend training to the Maldives army and provide non-lethal weaponry under a military grant

In January, Muizzu announced that agreements to assist the Maldives in expanding agricultural growth to cater to food security were signed with the Chinese government. The Maldives government said in a press release without naming India, “The President further remarked that the Government would end its dependence on one country for imported staple foods such as rice, sugar, and flour." 

Accoridng to reports, Muizzu's government had announced that it reviewing more than 100 agreements signed with India by the previous regimes.

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Published: 07 Mar 2024, 05:07 PM IST
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