Mangaluru lagging in tapping Lakshadweep tourism opportunities

11:51 AM May 17, 2024 | Team Udayavani |

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Lakshadweep earlier this year, it boosted interest in the tourism sector. Many people in Karnataka hoped for a direct travel option from Mangaluru, the closest major city to Lakshadweep. However, after four months, there have been no new developments to help tourists. Travelers still need to go to Kochi and then take a flight or boat to reach Lakshadweep.


PM Modi’s visit to Lakshadweep brought a lot of attention to the coral islands. At the same time, social media saw a campaign called ‘Boycott Maldives, Go to Lakshadweep’ due to some anti-India statements by political leaders of the Maldives.

No Direct Travel Option Yet

Since then, the only improvement is a high-speed ferry service from Lakshadweep to Mangaluru, but it is only for the people of Lakshadweep. Tourists from Mangaluru cannot avail of this service unless they have relatives in Lakshadweep and can get a special permit.

Currently, tourists need a permit to visit Lakshadweep. This permit process is managed by tourism agencies, and boarding passes are only issued in Kochi. Some MPs have asked for the permit process to be available in Mangaluru, but there have been no effective discussions yet.


Travel Agents’ Perspectives

Travel agents say people are slowly returning to the Maldives for vacations. “People forget things quickly. Our governments haven’t created enough infrastructure for Lakshadweep, so demand is low,” says Shivanand of Vikram Travels. “There hasn’t been much demand for travel to Lakshadweep,” adds Vathika Pai of Vathika Travels.

Comparison with Maldives

Rameez, a Lakshadweep resident working in Mangaluru, mentions that Lakshadweep doesn’t have luxurious facilities like the Maldives. “It is suitable for those who want a peaceful atmosphere. It’s difficult to manage if there are many tourists,” he says. He also notes that the Lakshadweep administration is working on beach beautification and infrastructure improvements.

Dakshina Kannada District Deputy Commissioner Mullai Muhilan sees potential in the high-speed ferry service. “It is a big opportunity to go to Lakshadweep by high-speed boat in 7-8 hours. I have instructed the authorities to check how tourists can go through Mangaluru,” he says.

For now, tourists must still travel to Kochi first if they wish to visit Lakshadweep.


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