Sources revealed that the news about this incident hasn’t spread much as there haven’t been any instances of trip cancellations as of now. But, even then, travel agents are worried that they will have to answer a lot of anxious foreign travellers in the next season.
Ernest Dias, chief operating officer, Sita Travels and TCI said, “It’s too early to say what impact the latest incident will have on tourism in Goa. But the news will spread because of online social networking forums and it will create a scare among foreign tourists.”
When asked if the travel agents in foreign countries have already started raising concerns, Dias said, “As of now, they haven’t raised any concerns. But tourism stakeholders are definitely worried about the impact of this incident on Goa’s image as a destination.”
It’s a known fact that Goa is much safer than other parts of India for travellers and this in itself attracts a lot of them to the state every year. Cases like Danielle McLaughlin and Scarlett Keeling end up creating a dent on Goa’s image as a tourism destination, as tourists, whether Indian or foreign, don’t feel safe
In Scarlett case, there were several lacunae in the investigation carried out by the police, but it appears that the cops have been very proactive in dealing with Danielle McLaughlin’s case.
Dias further added, “The police have already apprehended the accused, which is a step in the right direction. But, the prosecution too has to be fast-tacked to ensure that the criminal gets the due punishment.”
It is now the responsibility of the police to build a
solid case backed by evidence so that it reaches its logical end.
Sheikh Ismail, general manager, Concord Travels & Tours, said, “What has happened is not a good sign for Goa tourism. As of now, this news hasn’t spread in Russia. But, we think that the Russian tourists will be concerned about their safety in the next season.”
Concord Travels & Tours is one of the major travel companies, which brings Russian tourists in
large numbers through charter flights every year to Goa. Ismail was in Moscow when contacted by The Goan Everyday to comment.
Travel companies like these have to make a lot of effort in projecting Goa as an ideal tourism destination. It becomes difficult for
them to convince foreign tourists to come to Goa, when cases like Danielle McLaughlin happen.