Lakshadweep, India’s beautiful chain of islands in the Arabian Sea, has unexpectedly become the hottest keyword for investors. A small-cap company involved in developing luxury tent resorts on the islands saw its stock soar a staggering 43% in just three days, leaving many scratching their heads. But what’s driving this sudden spotlight, and what could it mean for India’s tourism landscape?
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep caused a significant surge in online searches about the islands. This worldwide search interest is at its highest in the last 20 years, indicating a renewed fascination with its natural beauty and cultural richness.
Boycott Maldives Trend
Tensions between India and Maldives led to the #BoycottMaldives hashtag trending. This is despite India being the top source of tourists, with over 2.09 lakh arrivals in Maldives in 2023.
Travel Companies Report Increased Inquiries
EaseMyTrip suspended its Maldives flight bookings in support of the government, impacting 2.4 lakh annual bookings made through their platform despite a surge of 40% in bookings surging by 40% compared to last year.
Since PM Modi’s visit, Makemytrip observed a 3400% increase in on-platform searches for Lakshadweep. This interest has inspired them to launch a ‘Beaches of India’ campaign on the platform with offers and discounts to encourage Indian travelers to explore the country’s stunning beaches.
Social Media Buzz
Media coverage and social media discussions have undoubtedly put Lakshadweep on the map for many Indian travelers. With stunning beaches and unique culture, Lakshadweep is trending on social media with hashtags like #ChaloLakshadweep.
Impact on the stock market
Praveg, a company that builds fancy camping-style resorts in tourist spots, saw its stock price jump a whopping 43% in just three days! It hit a record-high gain of 17.5% right after the #BoycottMaldives and #ChaloLakshadweep hashtags started trending on social media.
In the meantime, shares of Easy Trip Planners also ended 4.7% higher after the travel agent took the lead in suspending flight bookings to Maldives and urged Indians to explore Indian islands like Lakshadweep.
Developing Lakshadweep for a Brighter Future
Several infrastructure development initiatives have been underway in Lakshadweep in recent years, aiming to improve connectivity, amenities, and tourism potential. Here’s a breakdown of some major initiatives and upcoming plans:
- Submarine Optical Fiber Cable: Completed in 2020, this project provides Lakshadweep with high-speed internet connectivity, boosting communication and digital infrastructure.
- Airport Upgradation: Kavaratti airport’s runway extension project is nearing completion, allowing larger aircraft to land and potentially increase tourist inflow.
- Renewable Energy: Several solar power plants are being installed across the islands to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote sustainable energy practices.
- Water Development Projects: Desalination plants and rainwater harvesting initiatives address freshwater availability on the islands.
- Healthcare Infrastructure: Upgrading primary health centers and constructing a multi-specialty hospital are underway to improve medical facilities.
- Water Villa Projects: Tata Group expands its hospitality footprint to Lakshadweep with two new Taj-branded resorts. Emphasizing sustainability and environmental protection, the resorts will open on the islands of Suheli and Kadmat in 2026.
- Island Development Plan: A comprehensive plan for sustainable development of the islands is being formulated, focusing on eco-friendly tourism, infrastructure enhancements, and preservation of local culture.
- Connectivity Improvements: Upgrading ferry services and exploring seaplane possibilities are being considered to enhance inter-island and mainland connectivity.
- Skill Development Programs: Initiatives to train islanders in hospitality, tourism, and sustainable practices are planned to equip them for new employment opportunities arising from development.
Lakshadweep’s rise as a tourist destination and investor magnet presents India with a unique opportunity. By embracing sustainable development and protecting the islands’ natural beauty and cultural heritage, Lakshadweep can become a model for eco-friendly tourism and a shining star on India’s tourism map.
The key lies in striking the right balance between economic growth and environmental protection, ensuring that this paradise remains pristine and accessible for generations to come.
I’m Archana R. Chettiar, an experienced content creator with
an affinity for writing on personal finance and other financial content. I
love to write on equity investing, retirement, managing money, and more.