From Maldives to Lakshadweep: The ‘Chole Bhature’ Consolation Prize

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In the midst of a diplomatic standoff between India and the Maldives, Indian businesses and food chains are seizing the opportunity to promote Lakshadweep tourism in unique and quirky ways. As tensions rise, cancelling your Maldives trip might just earn you a plate of ‘chole bhature’ for free – a tempting consolation prize offered by an Uttar Pradesh-based restaurant.

Far from the pristine beaches of Lakshadweep, a restaurant in Uttar Pradesh is making headlines by offering a real deal: a complimentary plate of ‘chole bhature’ with every booking in Lakshadweep or a canceled trip to the Maldives. This culinary treat comes with no questions asked, turning travel uncertainties into a delightful gastronomic experience, but there’s a catch – it’s only available for those in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Riding the #BoycottMaldives Trend

Joining the #BoycottMaldives movement, a restaurant chain in Noida and Ghaziabad is capitalizing on the trend by offering a free plate of their ‘special chole bhature’ to individuals who have either booked a trip to Lakshadweep or canceled their Maldives visit. The unique ad campaign aims not just at attracting customers but also at promoting tourism in Lakshadweep.

Speaking about the initiative, Vijay Mishra, the owner of the Noida-based restaurant, stated, “Through this, we want to promote tourism in Lakshadweep. We started this scheme on Saturday, and the response has been very good. It’s not only about doing business but also about showing support to the country and its tourism sector.”

Maldives Vs. Lakshadweep: The Unlikely Rivalry

The unusual promotion stems from recent developments after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s unrelated visit to Lakshadweep, showcasing its pristine landscapes. This, coupled with derogatory remarks from Maldivian ministers against PM Modi, triggered a series of events. Cancellations of hotel bookings and flight tickets to the Maldives ensued, while all flight tickets to Lakshadweep’s Agatti Islands were reported as sold out till March.

Innovative Ad Campaigns Boosting Lakshadweep Tourism

Businesses across sectors are now jumping on the Lakshadweep bandwagon. A real estate firm based in Hyderabad, for example, promises a free trip to Lakshadweep with the purchase of a farm plot or booking a flat in Telangana. The response has been impressive, with 50 flats already sold.

A digital marketing agency is also contributing to Lakshadweep’s visibility online by offering to set up websites for hotels and resorts at a nominal cost as part of its ‘Maldives Out, Lakshadweep In’ campaign. Following PM Modi’s visit, searches for Lakshadweep on Google reached their highest point in the last two decades, and travel portals reported a surge in searches for Lakshadweep.

Lakshadweep: The New Lakshya (Target) for Businesses

As the Lakshadweep tourism sector prepares for an influx of tourists, innovative ad campaigns, discounts, and promotional activities are transforming it into a business ‘lakshya’ (target). From quirky restaurant promotions to real estate offers, businesses are showcasing their “Indianness” and aligning with the spirit of supporting the country’s tourism sector.

In this unexpected rivalry between Maldives and Lakshadweep, the latter emerges as the unexpected winner, attracting attention, tourists, and businesses eager to participate in the nation’s renewed interest in its own scenic islands.

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