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RIC misleading Russian tourists and tour operators says Senior officers from TTAG and GTDC

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This news is based on the act of a travel agency from north Goa claiming to be representing the Russian advisory attempted to spread the misleading news about Goa is not safe for Russian tourist.

RIC (Russian Information Center) a small time travel agency operating from Pernem is supposedly misleading the Russian tourists and tour operators claiming that Goa is not the safe destination for the Russian travelers, claimed the press note released by the Goa Tourism office. The press note further says that RIC does not have any official authority from any department of Russia to quote such misleading statements. The Russian tourists have ridiculed the statements made by RIC representatives which claim that the Goa unsafe destination. The report also says that the RIC has tarnished the image of Goa by making such baseless statements in the press.

According to the reports, the Russian tourists are spending their vacation along the coastal belts of Goa as the season is reaching its peak. Diana Makarova, a representative of Anex Tours has claimed that, the news of Goa is not safe for the tourists to have come as a big surprise to the Russian tourists and that they have not received any such complaints from anyone, “I personally vouch that the Goa is a safe destination in India,” She said. Many Russian tourists have raised their voice against the broadcasting of the false information by the RIC in Goa.

The report also says that one of the Russian tourists travelled all the way from Morjim to Panaji to speak to the officials of Goa Tourism in this regards. “I was shocked when I read the news in the newspaper claiming that Goa is not a safe destination for Russians, on the contrary, Goa is known to extend its hospitality along with the safety and security to the tourists unlike other destinations,” said Milena Mezhuieva, a tourist who frequents to Goa on holidays.

According to the another young Russian tourist, Nikola Agafya, who is in Goa for the first time, have expressed her regrets over the dissemination of such a misleading news by RIC, she said that, “This is an act of irresponsibility and it needed to be dealt with strictly, in fact, the Russian and Indian government should not tolerate such nonsense and take strict action against those involved into this, as they are instilling the fear in the mind of Russian tourist coming to Goa.”

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TTAG along with GTDC took serious cognizance of this event and called the press conference to clarify the facts in front of media. They claimed that there is no such advisory from the Russian government or its consulates and the so-called “Russian Information Centre” does not represent Russia and it not even and news agency to make such claims, it is just a small time travel agency operating from Pernem. They also claimed that the Interfax is just a small time private news gathering agency and it has not official standing in the market. The official website of Russian Consulate does not display any such claims. The news that was spread in Goa and other national media was completely false and baseless.

The TTAG official has claimed that the news agencies took the liberty to publish the misleading news without verifying the facts and thus caused the damage to the fair image of Goa which led to creating the chaos in the market. Mr. Victor Albuquerque, the Russian consul in Goa has confirmed that the information spread by the RIC and Interfax is completely false and baseless and none of them represent the Russian Government.

According to the Tour operators, the Russian inbound business this year is much better compared to the last year. Ernest Dias of SITA Travels has stated that none of his Russian operators have heard of such ‘advisory’ which unfortunately originated from Goa rather than Moscow. The so-called “Russian Information Centre” as quoted by the press is actually a “Russian Disinformation Centre” said Dias. He also clarified that “The tragedy in Egypt and Turkish has boosted the business in Goa with more bookings from Russian tourists which made us look for the more rooms and additional flights, but such misinformation can lead to affect the sales in the future.”

“I am of the opinion that the Goa government should sue the RIC and the Interfax news agency which spreading the misleading information that is defamatory in nature. They seem working against the interest of Goa and representing some other countries and TTAG strongly condemn this act of certain vested interest,” said the official.

The Managing Director of GTDC, Nikhil Desai stated that “The inbound arrivals are showing positive trends in tourism season ahead. The tourists from Russia, UK and CIS nations are flocking towards Goa and this became possible due to the situation at Egypt and Turkey and spreading of such misleading information in media will only lead to further damage,” he claimed.

Finally, it is said and done that Goa is the best destination in the world for the tourists and it will always remain and the irresponsible act of some people / agencies will not harm the image of Goa as the tourists visiting Goa know this better. It is very sad that due to small personal gains such people do not mind to go to any extent. The stakeholders of the tourism industry feel that these kinds of unsupported claims will not stand for long. Please do leave your valuable comments and suggestions on this issue.

Source: GTDC / TTAG

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