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How Lakshadweep Tourism will Benefit India?

By News Canvass | Jan 12, 2024

Lakshadweep has been in news recently for its beauty and also the place is now planned to become hotspot for tourism for Indians. After Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lakshadweep in the first week of January 2023 it became the most trending topic on the internet and catched attention of many. This sparked speculations that Indians might be looking at the country’s smallest Union Territory as their next tourist destination and this has agitated Maldives against India. Maldives is facing a boycott from one of its biggest sources of tourism income after three of its officials mocked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in which they described Modi as “clown”, “terrorist” and a “puppet of Israel”.

The Maldives government moved quickly to distance itself from their comments and suspended the three officials-deputy ministers with the Ministry of Youth Employment, Information and Arts. Maldives government said that it was aware about the “derogatory” comments made on social media but stressed the “opinions are personal” and do not represent its views.  Modi did not mention India’s picturesque neighbor Maldives in his post, but his effusive praise of the beautiful scenery of the lesser-known archipelago may have been seen as a charm offensive to draw people there for vacation rather than Maldives.

The incident comes at a sensitive time, as Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu embarks on a five-day visit to China, his first as President following his election win last October. Muizzu is known for his pro-China stance and pledged to end his predecessor’s “India first” policy in a region where New Delhi and Beijing vie for influence. During the trip, he’s expected to meet Chinese officials and sign “key agreements to improve trade, professional, and socioeconomic development

How Promoting Lakshadweep Tourism will be boon for India??

In modern terms, the meaning of development has drastically changed. The development has to be compatible with the environment-friendly capabilities therefore there is always a need to prosper through environment-friendly or eco-friendly development. Lakshadweep is also one such pristine ecosystem where there is a huge scope of development but it also has a fragile ecosystem therefore the development should also be well-matched with the environmental needs. Now the biggest question arises “How?”.

Here are a few major points:

  • Promotion: Promotion is one of the most important tools for a tourist site to become popular. In India, Lakshadweep is well known but outside of India, Lakshadweep is still a mystery. When someone thinks of Maldives, they think of white sandy beaches, sunny weather, hut houses but this is not the case with Lakshadweep.
  • Connectivity:Lakshadweep is one of the least connected regions in India. It has one airport (i.e. Agatti Airport) which is connected to Kerala as well as minor sea stopovers which are connected to Kerala’s coast. At least it has to be connected to prominent cities in India. This will help Lakshadweep to magnet tourists from the far regions to Lakshadweep.
  • Capacity building:The hotels or sleepovers are sparsely located as well as populated. If Lakshadweep has to prepare for tourists then tourist-friendly infrastructure has to be properly established.
  • Cost-effective:To carry all the needs of the tourist Lakshadweep has to be prepared for the different spectrum of tourists. Currently, both are underinvested. Therefore infrastructure building has to be a necessity.
  • Unmatched nature: The natural beauty of Lakshadweep is unmatched in any region of India therefore infrastructure building must not be at the cost of scenic beauty. If tourists will flock over Lakshadweep, they will be coming there for nature. Maldivian government focused too much on capacity building and now their beaches have become a huge source of non-biodegradable waste, which in turn is affecting the prosperous biology of Maldives.

About Lakshadweep

  • Lakshadweep is India’s smallest union territory (with a total area of 32 sq. km.) consisting of 36 islands. The state has 12 atolls, three reefs, five submerged banks and ten inhabited islands. The geographical location of Lakshadweep provides the Indian Navy with great outreach around the western Indian Ocean for patrolling and surveillance. Consequently, it can be used to boost the power projection capabilities of the Navy.
  • The abundance of Lakshadweep Islands has provided India with 20,000 sq. km. of territorial waters and 400,000 sq. km. of Economic Zone Exclusive (EEZ). There are valuable fisheries and mineral resources in the lagoons, and the EEZ around the Lakshadweep Islands are of enormous economic significance.
  • In 2020, the government announced optical fibre cable (OFC) connectivity in Lakshadweep. In October 2021, the submarine optical fibre cable (OFC) project was awarded to Japanese conglomerate NEC’s Indian subsidiary. By 2023-24, the Rs. 1,072 crore (US$ 140.11 million) submarine OFC project is expected to be completed, which will improve online education and e-medicine, and allow local people new opportunities in the field of education, employment and business.
  • In FY22, the exports from Lakshadweep stood at US$ 160,000. As of May 2023, Lakshadweep had a total installed power generation capacity of 30.10 MW. In the Budget 2022-23, the power sector of Lakshadweep was allocated Rs. 125.56 crore (US$ 16.42 million).
  • The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), an independent institute under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), is building an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant with a 65kW capacity in Kavaratti, Lakshadweep. This plant will supply energy to a 1 lakh litre per day desalination facility that uses Low Temperature Thermal Desalination (LTTD) to turn seawater into potable water.
  • In April 2022, the Lakshadweep Administration declared the Wednesday of every week as a ‘Cycle Day’ for government employees, which will help curb pollution and decrease the carbon footprint of the union territory.
  • The Indian Association of Tour Operators anticipates the impact of a recent boycott call to materialise within the next 20-25 days. Notably, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep, the region surged to the top of Google trends in India for two consecutive days. This has ignited extensive speculation that Indians are considering the nation’s smallest Union Territory as their next preferred tourist destination.
  • The Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Associations of India (FHRAI) expressed gratitude to Prime Minister Modi for his recent visit to Lakshadweep, commending his unwavering commitment to bolstering tourism in the country.

MakeMyTrip launches ‘Beaches of India’ campaign

  • In alignment with the rising coastal tourism trend, MakeMyTrip, a leading online travel company in India, has launched the ‘Beaches of India’ campaign. The initiative aims to showcase the country’s abundant coastal treasures and promote them as sought-after tourist destinations. MakeMyTrip promises exciting discounts on various beach destinations through their social media post, celebrating India’s love for its over 450 beaches.

Government Vision -2030 For the Union Territory-Lakshadweep

  • Ecological caution: A necessary step
    Amid the potential surge in tourism, an ecological note of caution is sounded. If Lakshadweep becomes more accessible to mainland tourists, measures must be implemented to ensure the islands remain free of plastic. Many islands in the chain are ecologically sensitive, featuring vulnerable coral reefs that require protection.
  •  Infrastructure boost fuels Lakshadweep’s tourism aspirations
    With the Union government enhancing infrastructure along the western coast, optimism prevails regarding Lakshadweep emerging as the next big thing in India’s tourism landscape. As the coastal tourism wave continues to rise, the nation eagerly anticipates the transformation of Lakshadweep into a prime tourist destination.
  •  Tourism sector’s economic impact and future prospects
    According to reports from 2023, the tourism industry’s potential contribution to India’s economy in 2022 surpassed $15.9 trillion, reflecting a 1% increase from 2019. The sector was expected to generate about 35 million jobs in 2023, marking an 8.3% growth over the previous year.

For the next two years, the tourism industry should be accorded industrial status and recognized as a priority sector. It is important to promote the growing number of inbound tourists to increase revenue through tax benefits. This will contribute to a rise in both domestic and international travel demand, with reputable PR firms encouraged to position India as a premier vacation destination catering to various preferences.

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