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Maldives and Lakshadweep, Tourism, Key Differences

Context: The article compares Maldives and Lakshadweep as tourist destinations, discussing why Maldives is ahead in tourism and why Lakshadweep seeks high-end, low-volume tourism.

About Maldives And Lakshadweep

  • The Maldives, an archipelago of 1,190 coral islands and sandbanks clustered in 20 odd atolls, sprawls over a patch of North Central Indian Ocean southwest of Kerala and Sri Lanka; Male, the capital, lies about 600 km southwest of Thiruvananthapuram.
  • Lakshadweep, which translates into Sanskrit and Malayalam as “hundred thou- sand islands”, is a group of 36 coral islands with a total area of only 32 sq km – India’s smallest Union Territory. The islands, which are at distances between 220 km and 440 km from Kochi, lie to the north of the Maldives.

Both archipelagos are part of a chain of coralline islands that extends southward beyond the equator to the Chagos archipelago.

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Maldives vs. Lakshadweep Tourism

Tourist Numbers

  • Maldives: A global tourism hotspot with over 1.87 million visitors in 2023, averaging 6,000 arrivals per day.
  • Lakshadweep: Receives much fewer tourists, with only 11,748 visitors in 2018 (combined domestic and foreign).

Development and Infrastructure

  • Maldives: Heavily invested in tourism, boasting 180 resorts, visa-free entry for many nationalities, and excellent connectivity via 40 airlines.
  • Lakshadweep: Limited tourism potential due to smaller size (only 10 inhabited islands). Focus on low-volume, high-end tourism due to environmental concerns and local opposition to mass development. Entry requires permits and access is restricted by limited flights and ferries.


  • Maldives: Luxurious overwater bungalows, high-end resorts, diverse water activities (diving, surfing, etc.).
  • Lakshadweep: Rustic and authentic experience, cultural immersion, eco-friendly activities, emphasis on sustainable practices.

Key Differences

  • Scale: Maldives caters to mass tourism, while Lakshadweep focuses on niche markets.
  • Investment: Maldives has invested heavily in infrastructure and facilities, while Lakshadweep faces stricter environmental regulations and local concerns.
  • Accessibility: Maldives is easily accessible with international flights, while Lakshadweep requires permits and has limited transportation options.
  • Experience: Maldives offers luxury and exclusivity, while Lakshadweep provides a more authentic and eco-conscious experience.

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About the Author

I, Sakshi Gupta, am a content writer to empower students aiming for UPSC, PSC, and other competitive exams. My objective is to provide clear, concise, and informative content that caters to your exam preparation needs. I strive to make my content not only informative but also engaging, keeping you motivated throughout your journey!

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