Maldives vs Lakshadweep: Which One Is Seeing More Tourism?

Maldives vs Lakshadweep

In the last 48 hours, you must have heard a heated debate on Maldives vs Lakshadweep. Reason? You will see in the synopsis in the next section. This debate has left people wondering- who sees a greater number of tourists? Maldives or Lakhsadweep?

Maldives vs Lakshadweep (cover image)

So, here we will be shedding light on the comparison analysis of Maldives vs Lakshadweep in terms of tourism.

Stay tuned!

(A) Story so far

Imagine a scenario– you’re all set for that dreamy Maldives vacation. Excitement level through the roof! But hold up, a tweet from a Maldivian minister stirred up quite a storm, and Indians were like, “No way, Maldives!”

#BoycottMaldives suddenly took over social media, and folks started scratching their Maldives plans. Why? Well, a Maldives politician dissed PM Modi’s Lakshadweep visit, claiming Maldives is unbeatable in tourism. Bold statement, isn’t it?

Now, this Maldivian minister, Mariyam Shiuna, went all out with harsh comments on PM Modi. Major backlash! Even some Indian big shots like Akshay Kumar and Sachin Tendulkar joined the ‘Boycott Maldives’ squad, suggesting Indians explore the hidden gem – Lakshadweep.

Synopsis of Maldives vs Lakshadweep

But wait, here’s the twist – the Maldives government did a quick turnaround, suspended a bunch of ministers, and distanced themselves from the whole mess. They stressed on free speech with responsibility, trying to fix things diplomatically.

And there it was – #BoycottMaldives trended like crazy. Indians canceled Maldives trips left and right, shouting, “Lakshadweep is the real deal!” A Supreme Court advocate even vouched for it being cleaner and more beautiful than the Maldives.

This whole episode has boiled down to a significant question- Maldives vs Lakshadweep- Which one is seeing more tourism?

So, which one’s winning the tourism battle? Maldives or Lakshadweep? Looks like the tourism drama unfolded, and now everyone’s eyes are on these two exotic destinations’ comparison.

(B) A Brief Overview on Maldives vs Lakshadweep

First of all, let’s look briefly at both the tourist places-

Geographical LocationIndian Ocean, southwest of Sri LankaArabian Sea, off the southwest coast of India
Number of IslandsOver 1,000 islands36 islands
Capital CityMalé  Kavaratti
Tourist AttractionsMaafushi Island,
Banana Reef,
Ari Atoll,
Bioluminescent Beach,
Mudhdhoo Island
Mincoy Island,
Kadmat Island,
Pitti Bird Sanctuary
Tourism RevenueINR 11,257 crores (25% of the Maldives GDP)INR 60-65 crores
Underwater ActivitiesDiving with whale and sharks,
Vibrant Coral Reefs,
Banana Reef dives
Snorkeling at Minicoy,
Coral Reefs at Kadmat Island,
Diving at Bangaram Atoll
AccessibilityWell-connected with international flightsLimited connectivity, primarily accessible by ships
CultureInfluenced by South Asian,
Middle Eastern,
and African cultures 
Blend of Indian and Arabic influences
LanguageDhivehi   Malayalam, English 
Best Time to VisitNovember to March (dry season)October to mid-May (avoiding monsoon)
Visa Requirements30-day visa on arrivalNo visa required for Indian tourists; foreign tourists need a visa
CurrencyMaldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) Indian Rupee (INR)  
TransportationSeaplanes, speedboats, ferriesLimited to ships, boats, and ferries
Average Budget (Per day for couple)INR 17,500 (Maldives)INR 7,300 (Lakshadweep)
ShoppingVibrant markets in Male like Male Local Market and Majeedhee MaguLimited shopping options, with some markets like Agatti Island, Kavaratti
Duration of StayIdeal for 7-10 days Ideal for 5-6 days 
Unique FeaturesOverwater bungalows, extensive luxury resortsLess-commercialised atmosphere, pristine natural beauty
A Brief Overview on Maldives vs Lakshadweep

Look, these are the general aspects of Maldives vs Lakshadweep tourism. The choice between these two places entirely depends on your personal preferences and travel priorities.

(C) Maldives vs Lakshadweep: Decoding the tropical dilemma

Maldives vs Lakshadweep

Prepare for a tropical face-off as we navigate the stunning realms of Maldives and Lakshadweep. Let’s dive into the details, and figure out which of these paradises will be your go-to escape in 2024.

(C.1) Places to visit: Maldives vs Lakshadweep

The following points describe some of the famous tourist attractions of Maldives and Lakshasweep-

  • Male: The vibrant capital is a gateway with colorful architectures and a hub for water sports.
  • Maafushi: Known for its breathtaking beaches and versatile activities like snorkelling and sunbathing.
  • Hithadhoo: A picturesque island in Addu City, celebrated globally for its natural reserves.
  • Minicoy Island: A beach lover’s haven with numerous lagoons enhancing its charm.
  • Kavaratti: The capital city is surrounded by abundant lagoons, offering scuba diving and aquarium tours.
  • Kadmat Island: Famed for its beautiful coral reefs, an ideal spot for snorkelling and marine reserve tours.

(C.2) Topographical Features

While both destinations share a tropical allure, the Maldives, with 300 islands, offers tranquil beaches and a vibrant water sports scene. In contrast, Lakshadweep’s 36 islands provide a more relaxed atmosphere, captivating nature enthusiasts.

(C.3) Best Time to Visit: Maldives vs Lakshadweep

Considering their equatorial proximity, the ideal time for the Maldives is November-April, peaking in December-March. Lakshadweep welcomes tourists from October to mid-May.

(C.4) Ideal Duration

The Maldives, with its extensive 300 islands, beckons for a minimum stay of 7-10 days. Meanwhile, Lakshadweep, with 36 islands, is perfect for a more concise 5-6 day vacation, encompassing water sports and island exploration.

(C.5) Currency

Get ready to handle Maldivian Rufiyaa (MVR) in the Maldives and Indian Rupees (INR) in Lakshadweep. Keep in mind that 1 MVR equals 5.40 INR.

(C.6) Average Budget

  • Maldives: Flight (INR 29,362), Accommodation (INR 7,000-10,000), Meals (INR 1,000/day), Sightseeing (INR 4,500/day), Miscellaneous (INR 5,000), averaging INR 17,500/day per couple.
  • Lakshadweep: Flight (INR 12,942), Accommodation (INR 2,000-7,000), Meals (INR 300/day), Sightseeing (INR 2,000/day), Miscellaneous (INR 3,000), averaging INR 7,300/day per couple.

(C.7) Visa

For the Maldives, a hassle-free 30-day visa on arrival is offered. Lakshadweep is equally accessible for Indian tourists, while foreign tourists need to secure a visa with validity ranging from 15 days to 6 months.

(C.8) Shopping

Indulge in vibrant Maldivian markets like Male Local Market and Majeedhee Magu. Lakshadweep, though with fewer shopping options, features Agatti Island, Kavaratti, and Minicoy islands for your retail therapy.

(C.9) Transportation

  • Maldives: Embrace the simplicity of bikes, bicycles, ferries, and speedboats for island hopping.
  • Lakshadweep: Solely reliant on ships, boats, and ferries due to the absence of road connectivity.

In short, your choice between Maldives and Lakshadweep boils down to personal preferences, budget considerations, and the scale of your island dreams. Each promises a unique tropical experience, leaving you with the delightful dilemma of crafting your perfect paradise retreat.

(D) Number of Tourist Arrivals in Lakshadweep

The following table describes the number of tourists arrived in Lakshadweep in the last 10 years-

YearNumber of Visitor Arrivals
Number of tourist arrivals in Lakshadweep

That’s how tourism contributes over INR 60-65 crores in Lakshadweep’s GDP.

(E) Number of Tourist Arrival in Maldives

Go through the table given below to understand the number of tourist arrivals in Maldives based on the nationality-

NationalityNumber of Tourists
United Kingdom1,55,730 
United States74,575
Number of tourist arrivals in Maldives

Can you see India’s dominance in the tourist arrivals data of Maldives? And yet, the Maldivian Minister threw anti-India comments. Such a disappointing scenario! We will discuss this issue in the next section.

(F) Significance of Indian Tourists in Maldives

Let’s deep dive into some exciting data about Indian tourists making waves in the Maldives! In 2023, Indians took the lead in jet-setting to this tropical paradise, beating out Russia and China in tourist numbers. 

The Maldives tourism ministry spilled the beans, sharing that a whopping 17,57,939 tourists flocked to the island nation by December 13, marking a cool 12.6% jump from 2022’s 1.5 million arrivals.

Now, check this out – India took the crown with 2,09,198 visitors, leaving Russia (2,09,146) and China (1,87,118) trailing behind. The United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, the United States, France, Spain, and Switzerland joined the global party too!

But here’s the real kicker: Indians have been showing Maldives some serious love for years. Back in 2018, 51,000 adventure seekers jetted between India and Maldives during the October-December quarter. Fast forward to 2021 – a staggering 1.15 lakh travelers from India landed in the Maldives in the fourth quarter alone, averaging a jaw-dropping 1250 passengers every day!

Now, hold on a sec. Despite 2022 seeing a bit of a dip as folks spread their wings elsewhere, Maldives remained a hot pick. But, and there’s always a “but,” anti-India remarks by a few Maldivians lately stirred the pot. Some celebs and influencers are now chanting “boycott,” putting a dent in the love affair.

This drama traces back to PM Modi’s Lakshadweep visit. His beachy visit created a buzz, making Lakshadweep the talk of the town. Modi’s snorkelling escapade even broke the internet! So, what’s next? Keep an eye on the travel scene as we gear up for more adventures in 2024! 

(G) Wrapping Up: Maldives vs Lakshadweep

Indian tourists in Maldives

Here comes the declaration of winner. As you can see from the tables given above, you may feel that the tourist count of Maldives is far more than that of Lakshadweep.


Can you compare the tourism of a whole country to a union territory of another country? Ofcource not! That won’t sound like a fair comparison. But here we compared the tropical tourism which is offered by Lakshadweep Islands of India and the entire Maldives.

So yes, despite having a higher number of tourists, Maldives can’t be declared as a winner.

Here comes another climax. Majority of Maldives tourists are Indians! So imagine what will happen if all of them stop going to Maldives and instead come to Lakshadweep… Such a plot twist. Isn’t it?

You know what. This hypothesis may soon become a fact.

With the humongous trend of #boycottMaldives (due to offensive remarks of Maldivian Minister), Maldives faced a humongous travel cancellations from Indian tourists.

As you know, our honourable Prime Minister inaugurated several development projects and a visit to Lakshadweep has ignited the interest in our archipelago islands in the minds of travellers.

Let’s see how rapidly the tourism industry of Lakshadweep blooms!

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Published By: Supti Nandi
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