After Israel, Russia too advises its citizens to avoid Goa

December 11th, 2008 - 10:54 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Dec 11 (IANS) Close on the heels of a travel advisory issued by Israel recommending to its nationals to avoid visiting Goa this season, the Russian government has also asked its citizens to reconsider their trips to the state. Nearly 45,000 Russian tourists visit Goa each season and the country stands second only to Britain when it comes to the maximum number of nationals holidaying on Goan shores.

Sources told IANS that the Russian Consul General in Mumbai Alexander Mantysky has already written to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to ensure the safety of Russian nationals touring Goa.

Meanwhile, the Russian foreign ministry has specifically advised its citizens wishing to travel to Goa to “reconsider” their decision.

“We have not told them not to come to Goa, we have asked our citizens to reconsider their decision of coming to Goa in view of the security situation,” advocate Vikram Varma told IANS on behalf of the Russian consulate.

Varma noted a drop in the number of Russian arrivals since the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai.

Morjim beach in North Goa and Palolem beach in the south have, over the years, attracted a large number of Russians during the tourist season.

A dip in the number of Russian tourists is an ominous sign, considering that tourism in Goa is already grappling with global economic meltdown and events like the Mumbai terror attacks.

With Israel’s Counter Terrorism Bureau issuing a “concrete” warning asking its tourists to stay away from Goa this season and the subsequent caution to Russian tourists, Goa’s tourism party for the year 2008 could just end in a whimper.

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