After Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lakshadweep and promoted tourism on the island, development projects are underway to transform the face of the coral islands. Thanks to the Lakshadweep-Maldives controversy that ensued, many influencers also highlighted Lakshadweep as a more beautiful place than the Maldives. At the same time, there were also concerns about the lack of basic facilities needed for tourists coming to Lakshadweep.
In January last year, the Indian Hotels Company Limited (IHCL), a Tata Group subsidiary, announced the opening of two Taj-branded resorts in Lakshadweep by 2026. Puneet Chatwal, the managing director and chief executive officer of IHCL, had expressed optimism for the islands, stating, "We are aware of Lakshadweep's potential. Its picturesque beaches and coral reefs will attract domestic and international tourists."
Several islands in Lakshadweep, including Agatti, Bangaram, Minicoy, Kavaratti, Suheli, and Kadmat are already popular tourist destinations in the archipelago consisting of 36 islands. Kadmat is particularly renowned as a popular diving centre in India. The Taj resort to be built at Suheli will have 110 rooms, 60 beach villas, and 50 water villas. Similarly, the Taj Hotel to be built on Kadmat Island is designed with 110 rooms, 75 beach villas, and 35 water villas. The Taj Group also aims to explore Lakshadweep's water sports potential.
The controversy was sparked after Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who visited Lakshadweep, invited travellers to the place. Modi shared pictures from Lakshadweep on January 4, including images of him engaged in snorkelling. The controversy escalated when three Maldives Ministers accused the Indian Prime Minister of attempting to damage their country's tourism sector through his posts glorifying Lakshadweep. There are expectations of a decrease in Indian travellers to the Maldives due to the controversies. The Indian Association of Tour Operators (IATO) says the next few days will prove how Indian travellers have responded to the calls for the boycott of the Maldives.