As India tries to make it easier for international tourists to visit the country with a visa on arrival for more than 40 countries, not all are happy with the development. In Goa for instance, a number of people are worrying over the quality of tourists the new visa regime will bring to the state, especially given the context of the recent trouble it faced with the Nigerian tourists. Some are even wondering if it will spell doom for Goa?
A senior official in the tourism ministry agrees that there could be a problem. “It will be very difficult to screen the kind of foreign tourists coming to Goa,” the official said.
Recent data and trends show that cheap charter arrivals create a nuisance for Goa, whether from Russia, Africa, Far East and even Europe. Such arrivals may go up. For instance, a few hundred tourists from Russia started coming to the state in the early 90s. Today Russians are the highest number of tourists in Goa surpassing even the Brits. This story could repeat itself with African nationals. Since 2009-11, between 200 and 500 visitors have been coming to Goa from African States in addition to the number of them coming to State for the purpose of study. Similar is the case with Israeli visitors.
“Even though the VoA and group landing visa facility entitles a visitor to a short stay, it can bring in unwanted guests to Goa , trouble makers, drug peddlers and those kind of tourists who are creating enough nuisance in the State already,” said a hotelier from the South coastal belt. This hotelier said that presently most of the problems that have been reported are in North Goa and South Goa has been far more peaceful.
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