New visa rules affect European inflow

PTI, PANAJI | 30 December 2010 19:48 IST

The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) has said that new visa norms have forbade European travellers from spending their long vacations in this beach destination.

"Goa's unique selling proposition (USP) was the long holidays that could be spent here. But that itself is impacted with the visa regulations," TTAG spokesperson Ralf De Souza said.

TTAG is an umbrella organisation for all tourism industry in Goa with tour operators, hoteliers and other stake holders being its members.

De Souza said that new norms bars traveller from staying in India for more than three months, which means he will have to go back to his country and return.

"And if he goes back, he will have to go through cooling period of two months before getting visa back to India," he said.

Goa has been receiving repeat clienteles over the years but now with the new norms, these guests too will not turn up, he said.

Many of the European tourists used to make Goa as their base for six months before returning to their abode. The state receives around four lakh foreign tourists mostly from Russia, UK and other European nations.

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I think we have all been witness to the incredible damage the cheaper bracket of tourists, like the Russians, have unleashed on this wonderful state. Crime, overt and covert, has reached unprecedented dimensions. In cahoots with the local politicians and police the Russian mafia has operated with impunity especially in the Morjem area going to the extent of acquiring property by making "an offer you can't refuse" to owners. Indeed they had begun to be be all pervasive in the criminal framework of the state.

And so the amendments to the long stay visa rules by the government needs to be lauded. The loss, or rather the reduction of profit, that will accrue to the tourism industry due to the new visa rules needs to be viewed as insignificant compared to the larger benefit to the people of Goa and India. It is a good, well advised and thought out move that will help ameliorate in part the suffering of the common man of Goa even if at the expense of a few vested interests. For a change the problem seems to have been addressed and treated at it's root and not just cosmetically as is the norm in our public life of this country!

- VIKAS SIVARAMAN , Arpora | 02 nd January 2011 10:09

 

I would love to spend six months in Goa,but as the visa only let you stay for three ,i have to go somewhere else.It is ekspencive to get the visa,the flight cost is high,and it is far to travel,so alas,blame your self.With the russians you only import a lot of criminal individs,the westerns are different,and we dont come anymore because it is too much of them,its like a travel to Russia somewhere.So what will you do ?

- varvara, norway | 01 st January 2011 11:15

 

If other countries around the world adopt the same measure visa regulations, then Indians around the world will come back to this blessed land in hordes, flocks. These foreigners who come here are people who spend money stay a while and go back, usually elderly and couples, whereas Indians go to those countries to repatriate earnings. I was part of that force who lived abroad for 24 years, minus a month's vacation every year. Because of a few bad apples, it is wrong to generalise. Your tourism policy is counter productive. Strenghten security measures instead.

- Ludovico, Old-Goa | 31 st December 2010 18:29

 

May be the new visa norms would help in curbing the drug trade and other nefarious activities may be by a few elements- as such activities are easily possible during lengthy stays in an alien country where the law and order machinery has been corrupted and rendered useless or made ineffective!

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 31 st December 2010 16:18

 

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