Tourists have been cancelling hundreds of hotel bookings in the Maldives every day since the government declared a state of emergency, tour operators say.
Travel warnings have been issued by the British government as well as China, India and the United States after Maldives president Abdulla Yameen arrested judges who ordered him to free jailed opposition leaders causing civil unrest.
Calls from President Yameen's opponents for military intervention by India, the leading power in the region, have also added to the uncertainty.
Tour operators say that tourists have been cancelling hundreds of hotel bookings following civil unrest in the Maldives (pictured)
And now resorts in the areas popular with tourists are seeing a string of bookings cancelled, despite protests taking place miles away in the capital of Male.
A spokesman for Paradise Island Resort-Villa Group, which runs a 282-room hotel, a 20-minute ride by speedboat from Male, where the turmoil is centred, said: 'We have had about 50 to 60 room cancellations per day and the number is consistent since it started.
'This is the same for all of our properties in the country.'
Tourism accounts for a third of the Maldives' gross domestic product but ratings agency Moody's has said it would lower its 2018 growth forecast of 4.5 per cent if tourists are deterred for a prolonged period.
The unrest comes as the Chinese New Year begins on Thursday when millions of Chinese travel at home and overseas during a week-long holiday.
One resort on the island nation says that it has been having up to 60 cancellations each day (file image)
Tourism accounts for a third of the Maldives' gross domestic product. Almost 1.4 million tourists from across the world visited the Maldives in 2017
Ctrip.Com International Ltd, China's biggest online travel agency, said it was coordinating with hotels and airlines and helping guests who wished to postpone or cancel trips to the Maldives before February 28.
A spokeswoman declined to say how many cancellations or postponements there had been.
Airlines have not yet cancelled flights but carriers including Air India, India's SpiceJet, China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines have allowed customers to cancel or change their tickets at no cost during specific dates during February.
According to government statistics, almost 1.4 million tourists from across the world visited the Maldives in 2017.
Maldives president Abdulla Yameen arrested judges who ordered him to free jailed opposition leaders causing civil unrest in the capital Male. Pictured are officers detaining an opposition protestor in Male
Police officers try to push back opposition supporters during a protest against the government in the Maldives
Trouble began on the idyllic islands, famed for white-sand beaches and crystal clear diving spots in its turquoise waters, when the Supreme Court quashed terrorism and graft convictions of nine opposition figures and ordered they be freed.
Among them was the exiled former president, Mohamed Nasheed. President Yameen rejected the ruling and declared an emergency for 15 days.
He also ordered the arrest of two of the court's five judges, several opposition members and his 80-year-old half-brother, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who had ruled the Maldives for 30 years. They were all plotting a coup against him, Yameen said.
The remaining judges have since nullified the court's ruling and the government sent envoys to China, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan seeking support from 'friendly' nations and to reassure them the islands were safe for international travel.