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  • Context (IE): The tourism potential of Maldives and Lakshadweep was recently in the news.
  • Tourism contributes 30% to the Maldivian economy with 60% of foreign currency earnings.

Maldives: A success story

  • Early start: It was started in 1972 with the development of 60 tourist beds.
  • Maldives tourism master plan 1996-2005 emphasised tourism as an essential economic activity.
  • Connectivity: With more than 40 carriers serving the countries, it is well connected to the world.
  • Visa-free travel to significant tourist inflow, including China, India, and Russia.
  • Infrastructure: With 180 resorts, 15 hotels, 811 guesthouses, and 140 safari vessels offering a total of more than 62,000 beds, it boasts excellent infrastructure capabilities.
  • Local hospitality: Homestays with the 2009 amendment allowing tourists to stay with local populations improved hospitality.

Lakshadweep

Tourism Attractions

Lakshadweep Island

Place Significance
Agatti Agatti Airport, Lagoon
Bangaram Tourist resorts, Bangaram hut
Kavaratti Administrative headquarters, Most developed, Lighthouse
Kadmath Beautiful shallow waters, Water sports
Minicoy Folk culture and folk dances, Isolated from the leading group
Kalpeni, Tilakkam, Pitti, and Cheriyam Folk dances

Limitations

  1. Smaller area
    • It occupies a smaller area with only ten islands inhabited, with a lack of capacity to cater to a “large influx of tourists”. For example, Bangaram and Kavaratti each have a capacity of about 200 cottages.
  2. Environmental concerns
    • The fragile ecology and the need for the conservation of the corals, lagoons and other ecosystems limits the construction.
    • Justice R V Raveendran (retd) Panel suggested that infrastructure development proposals should be in accordance with an Integrated Island Management Plan in consultation with elected local self-government bodies.
  3. Lack of investments
    • India has lacked investment in its tourism potential due to concerns about locals and the environment.
  4. Connectivity issue
    • With only one aircraft between Kochi and Agatti, few operational ferries Lakshadweep lacks robust connectivity.
  5. Entry restrictions
  • With a Lakshadweep Administration permit and police clearance certificate, entry is very restricted for Lakshadweep.

Steps taken for Lakshadweep tourism

  • Lakshadweep Tourism Policy 2020 allowed the PPP model, but follow-up to the policy did not occur.
  • Infrastructure through Paradise Island huts (Being managed by Govt. led SPORTS -Society for Promotion of Nature Tourism and Sports) and a 90-room hotel by SMART city initiative are being launched.
  • Other initiatives were also launched during the PM’s visit to Lakshadweep.

For details on Lakshadweep, visit Lakshadweep.

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