Promoting Domestic Tourism: Sitharaman Announces Development Plan for Lakshadweep in Budget 2024

To deal with fervour for home tourism, initiatives for port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, products, and companies will possibly be taken on our islands, including Lakshadweep. FM

Nirmala Sitharaman

| Image: ani

In a significant move to boost domestic tourism, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman unveiled development initiatives for Lakshadweep during the interim budget presentation on Thursday, February 1. Addressing the Parliament, Sitharaman highlighted plans for enhancing port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and services across various islands, including Lakshadweep, to capitalize on the growing interest in domestic travel within the country.

The Finance Minister emphasized that India’s economic strength has positioned it as an attractive destination for both business and conference tourism. The mention of Lakshadweep in her speech followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to the island on January 4. During his visit, Modi engaged in snorkeling activities and endorsed Lakshadweep as a must-visit destination for adventure enthusiasts.

However, controversy arose on social media when some leaders in the Maldives made derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Modi after he shared a video of himself enjoying the pristine beaches of Lakshadweep. Subsequently, several Indian tourists and tour operators cancelled their plans to visit the Maldives, which has been leaning towards China under its current President Mohamed Muizzu.

In her budget speech, Sitharaman highlighted the aspirations of the Indian middle class, which increasingly desires to travel and explore new destinations. She emphasized the vast potential for local entrepreneurship in tourism, including religious tourism. The Finance Minister also announced plans to encourage states to undertake comprehensive development of iconic tourist centers, promote them through branding and marketing initiatives on a global scale, and establish a framework for rating these centers based on the quality of services provided.


  • Finance Minister Sitharaman announces development initiatives for Lakshadweep in the interim budget.
  • Plans include enhancing port connectivity, tourism infrastructure, and services to capitalize on domestic tourism.
  • Prime Minister Modi’s recent visit to Lakshadweep sparks controversy on social media.
  • Several Indian tourists and operators cancel plans to visit the Maldives following derogatory remarks against Modi.
  • Sitharaman highlights the aspirations of the Indian middle class for travel and exploration.
  • Emphasis on promoting local entrepreneurship in tourism and encouraging states to develop iconic tourist centers.
  • Framework to be established for rating tourist centers based on service quality.

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