Amidst escalating tensions with Maldives due to derogatory social media posts by junior ministers mocking his Lakshadweep visit, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reinforced his call for boosting domestic tourism. While in Lakshadweep, Modi advocated developing the Indian archipelago as a prime destination for beach tourism. Speaking at the foundation stone-laying ceremony of Khodaldham Trust Cancer Hospital in Gujarat, he urged citizens to make nine commitments, emphasizing the promotion of tourism within India.
The mocking of Modi’s tourism promotion efforts by Maldivian officials triggered a diplomatic dispute, prompting New Delhi to summon the Maldivian envoy and formally protest the offensive posts. The hashtag #BoycottMaldives gained traction on social media, leading to widespread cancellations of planned visits to the scenic island nation.
In addition to the tourism focus, Modi addressed vital issues during his speech, including the need for water conservation, promoting digital transactions, and enhancing cleanliness in villages, localities, and cities. He renewed his ‘Vocal for Local’ campaign, urging the promotion of locally-made products, awareness of natural farming, and the inclusion of millet foods in daily diets. Modi also encouraged embracing sports and staying away from drugs and addiction.
Furthermore, he advocated for ‘Wed in India’ as part of the ‘Make in India’ initiative, discouraging destination weddings abroad and urging citizens to hold such events within the country. Modi emphasized that spending on foreign weddings contributes to offshore economies, urging citizens to support the domestic economy by choosing to wed in India.