Cancel Maldives trip, get 'chole bhature' treat

Amid a showdown between India and the Maldives, several Indian firms and food chains have come up with unique ads in their 'lakshya' to promote Lakshadweep tourism. You can now cancel your trip to the Maldives and get a plate of 'chole bhature' for free.
Cancel Maldives trip, get 'chole bhature' treat
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

What can holiday booking in Lakshadweep get you? Serene white sand beaches, coral reefs, the sound of the waves crashing amid lush greenery and free 'chole bhature' from an Uttar Pradesh-based restaurant.

Far from the unspoilt white beaches of Lakshadweep, a restaurant in Uttar Pradesh has cooked up a real deal -- a plate of 'chole bhature' for free with every booking in Lakshadweep or trips to the Maldives cancelled, no questions asked.

As several Indians press that cancel button on the booking portal for their Maldives trip, you are not only getting a refund but also a culinary consolation prize -- the humble 'chole bhature' -- if you happen to be in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand that is.

Jumping on the #BoycottMaldives bandwagon, a restaurant chain in Noida and Ghaziabad is offering a plate of their 'special chole bhature' absolutely free for those who have booked a trip to Lakshadweep or cancelled their visit to the Maldives.

Speaking about the unique ad, the restaurant chain owner said he came up with the idea after Maldivian ministers started making derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"Through this we want to promote tourism in Lakshadweep. We started this scheme on Saturday and the response has been very good. In the NCR region itself, 10 people have availed the scheme and they have appreciated it. We now plan to extend the scheme till the end of January," the owner of the Noida-based restaurant, Vivek Mishra, told

In fact, in the past two weeks, cancellations of several hotel bookings and flight tickets to the Maldives have been reported. On the other hand, all flight tickets to Lakshadweep's Agatti Islands were sold out till March.

It all started with an unrelated trip to Lakshadweep by PM Modi and the sharing of images of its pristine landscape. Chatter on the internet and some media reports associated the promotion of Lakshadweep as a tourist destination as a counter to the Maldives. Three Maldivian lawmakers somehow got triggered and posted derogatory and racist comments against Indians and PM Modi.

This led a travel booking portal to suspend all Maldives flight bookings and prompted a plethora of ad campaigns such as the 'chole bhature' offer.

Everyone seems to want a bite of the Lakshadweep pie and is willing to showcase their "Indianness". The ad by the restaurant chain has "proud to be an Indian" written in big letters in the middle.


"Want a free trip to Lakshadweep? Buy a farm plot or residential plot and enjoy a complimentary trip! Explore the beauty of Indian islands like Andaman and Nicobar," the ad campaign reads.

The chairperson of the real estate firm said the response to the ad campaign has been impressive, and 50 flats have already been sold.

"You have seen how much revenue the Maldives is generating through tourism and what they have done with India today. We have sold around 50 flats. We are planning to take these 50 people for the tour between January and March," the firm's chairman, Ramesh, told IndiaToday.In.


As Lakshadweep prepares to welcome a high number of tourists, it will surely need more hotels and resorts as well as the existing ones to be more visible online.

To help the existing hotels attract tourists, a digital marketing agency has offered to set up websites for just Re 1 as part of its 'Maldives Out, Lakshadweep In' campaign.

"Introducing the 'Maldives Out, Lakshadweep In' campaign, aimed at transforming Lakshadweep's tourism sector. Avail our special offer - get a stylish website for your hotel or resort for just Re 1!" the ad reads.

Apart from these innovative ad campaigns, Paytm had previously announced a 10% discount, up to Rs 1,500, on flight tickets to Lakshadweep. The company had said the move came after searches for travel to Lakshadweep on Paytm surged by 50 times.

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Cancel Maldives trip, get 'chole bhature' treat

So, if you have planned to click that 'cancel' button on your Maldives reservation, don't feel sad as you can head towards Lakshadweep, and gorge on free 'chole bhature', too, if you are in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi NCR or Uttarakhand. Bon voyage and bon appétit!

Source: India Today

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