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Wrong to call Goa unsafe tourist destination

Panaji, June 25 (IANS) The Goa tourism department Friday refuted findings of a survey by a popular tourism portal which dubbed Goa as the second-most unsafe tourist destination in India.

‘Goa is one of the safest tourist destinations in India. How can one explain a 45 percent repeat foreign tourist clientele for the state? If we were unsafe, then tourists would have never come here again,’ tourism director Swapnil Naik told IANS.

TripAdvisor, a popular tourism portal had in its 2010 survey ranked Goa as the second most unsafe tourism destination in the country after Delhi. The survey which was published in several national dailies Friday, said that out of the total number of travellers who were polled, 67 percent ranked Delhi as the most unsafe tourist destination, followed by Goa at 17 per cent. The survey also ranked the popular Baga beach in Goa, as one of the dirtiest beaches in India.

‘It is a contradiction of sorts that despite the huge chunk of repeat tourist clientele, the survey called the state unsafe. I tried to find out the details of the survey but I could not get it on their website. I need to cross-check its authenticity,’ Naik said.

‘Some days back, the same website had listed Goa as the topmost family destination in the country. If the state is unsafe, than it certainly cannot be the topmost family destination,’ he added.

Goa has, in the recent past, been under intense media spotlight after a slew of crime cases were reported in the state against foreign nationals. Around 2.5 million tourists visit Goa annually, out of which half-a-million are foreigners.

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