By Jonathan De Souza | 23rd August 2015
Goa’s Tourism woes are likely to continue for the second consecutive season this year 2015-16, with the common Russian tourist still preferring to stay away from Goa. The common Russian tourist finds Goa ‘trouble’ and no longer peaceful, not to forget – very expensive’.
IndyaWire.com conducted a survey over the last one week on Facebook and other social media sites, including VK or VKontakte – the Russian equivalent of Facebook – which is the second most popular Russian site after Yandex, to gauge the opinion of various foreigners including Russians and others from nearby states who have been regulars to Goa over the 4-5 ten years. “We are not coming to Goa this year too,” opined many survey participants. “No Goa” was the common reply we got.
To add to this list several Brits and Europeans plan to skip Goa this season – for various reasons. Goa has become very dirty, noisy and expensive – it is no longer the peaceful ‘heaven on earth’ that it was till a few years ago, was the common refrain among Brits and Europeans.
Michael Lobo, BJP MLA from Calangute while speaking to news agency IANS recently had said that Goa’s burgeoning garbage problem, robberies near beaches and memories of the 2008 sexual assault on a British teenager are still deterrents for tourists from Britain to visit the state.
According to Lobo, as quoted by IANS, in view of the continuing bleak perspective from the Russian market for the coming tourist season as well, Goa should woo back British tourists. “There are three reasons why tourist arrivals from the UK (Britain) dropped. “One of them is bag snatching near beaches, sometimes at knife-point, the Scarlett rape case and failure to solve our garbage problem,” he said.
According to the IANS report, in 2012, Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office had issued an advisory to its tourists traveling to Goa to be beware of bag snatching in and around the Calangute-Baga beach stretch.
Goa’s inability to manage garbage, especially in coastal areas which often see heaps of filth on roads and fields, has also been a concern for tourism industry stakeholders who have pleaded with the Goa government to address the problem.
Lobo said with the Russian economy in crisis and the expected shortfall of Russian tourists for the 2015-16 tourist season, Goa’s tourism ministry should look to re-invest in tourism promotion in Britain.
with inputs from IANS