In a rather shameful turn of events recently the name of the city known for its tourism and hospitality was besmirched because of an ego issue of some individuals. On the 15th of December, a group of 100 American tourists that arrived at the Mormugao Port in Goa were abstained from boarding their scheduled buses that were supposed to take them on a sightseeing tour of the magnificent state of Goa. Reportedly a group of infuriated people from the taxi drivers union of Goa prevented the tourists from getting aboard their respective buses.
Commenting on the incident, Francis Vaz of tour operating firm ‘Le Passage to India’ said,
A group of taxi drivers stopped buses that had gone to the port to pick up some 100 tourists from the United States of America. They had arrived on the cruise ship ‘Ocean Odyssey’. The tourists had to walk almost a kilometre to get to the buses but had to return to the ship. There was also a fight between taxi operators and a bus driver. Mormugao police had to intervene but the arrogant taxi operators refused to back down. The American tourists had to cancel their sight-seeing trip. The ship left for Kochi in Kerala on Thursday.
As a result of this incident, all of the tourists were extremely furious and following this incident the cruise liner said that it is thinking about not visiting Goa again. According to sources, the ship’s owners have also reported this issue to the American Embassy in Delhi, which will raise it with the Central government because American nationals were being kept “hostage.” This is thought to have highly negative effects on Goa’s cruise tourist business.
Francis Vaz also wrote a complaint letter to the TTAG, the Tourism Department, the Chief Minister and DGP saying,
This is a really unfortunate incident which has happened and the cruise ship captain and the shore excursion manager of the cruise ship is very upset about the whole situation. None of our excursions could be operated and the guests had to be refunded the money they had paid for the tour with compensation. This is a huge loss of revenue to us particularly when we have just started operating our business after a two-and-half-year gap due to the pandemic. The Cruise Ship Captain has already informed us that they will never come to the Goa port anymore and will inform all other ships of what they had to go through at Goa port today.
Following the incident on Wednesday, the cruise operators met with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant to protest, warning that similar instances would harm the state’s reputation as a welcoming destination. To which the Chief Minister of Goa said that an investigation was ongoing and that steps will be taken in relation to the event after meeting with tour operators and other stakeholders from the tourist sector.
The Chief Minister stressed that incidents like these will not be not accepted. Adding that police were instructed to detain individuals responsible for the alleged assault on a bus driver. According to Raghoba Kamat, the in-charge of the Mormugao police station, a “preventive action report” would be filed to higher authorities against the cab drivers engaged in the incident.