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Unregulated taxi fares, corrupt police behind sharp drop in Goa tourists : Tourism body

Posted : 12 January 2019 12:10:45 | By TWO Bureau | New Delhi

Unregulated taxi fares, corrupt police behind sharp drop in Goa tourists : Tourism body

Exorbitant taxis and over-enthusiastic policemen, who are trigger-happy penalising outstation vehicles, need to be reined in to salvage Goa's image as a friendly and feasible tourist destination, a tourism body official said.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of an event in Panaji on Friday, Savio Messias, President of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, said that the coastal state's inability to handle the burgeoning garbage crisis had also led to Japanese, Finnish and Danish tour operators pulling out of Goa, due to "safety and health concerns". "There is widespread indiscipline among taxi operators and drivers, which is one of the main cause for driving away tourists from Goa. Taxis are so unaffordable, that tourists prefer to travel by their own cars, adding to stress on the road infrastructure," Messias said. Messias also said, that Goa's international marketing strategy to promote the coastal state as a tourism destination, left a lot to be desired and blamed the tourism ministry for the mismanagement.

 Travel and tourism industry stakeholders over the last few days have been discussing a sudden decline in Goa's tourism fortunes, especially after the festive Christmas and New Year week, saw a steep drop in footfalls. Taxis in Goa are largely unregulated with no fare meter system in place and private cab drivers have often been accused of being aggressive as well as over-priced when it comes to service. The absence of app-based taxi services like Ola and Uber have also compounded the problem, even as a state tourism ministry endorsed app-based taxi service GoaMiles has never really taken off, due to poor pricing patterns and unavailability, according to users.

While broader issues like a steep Goods and Services Tax slab impacting the price of hotel rooms, increase in unregistered rooms offered by online portals, poor marketing strategy, have been identified as key reasons for the drop, Messias also pointed out to basic flaws, like poor and corrupt policing, which have impacted Goa's image as a welcoming tourism destination.  

Tags : Goa, Tourism

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