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Tourism dept reaches out to stranded foreigners


Two teams from the tourism department paid visit and took stock of stranded foreign tourists in South Goa on Sunday and Monday and also reassured them over efforts being made to send them back to their native countries.
As an effort from the department to ensure foreigners do not face any difficulties in the state during the lockdown period, three teams in North Goa and two teams in South Goa visited and met foreigners currently staying in hotels and guest houses. They took down information of the tourists and asked them of any issues they were facing.
Among the many issues raised by the stranded tourists, availability of food, medicines were the main ones, except for a few stray incidents. A food helpline and email address to convey their concerns were also shared with the tourists.
Some tourists, who are currently stranded in guest houses and hotels along the South Goa coastal belt between Betalbatim and Agonda, said they were concerned as guest house and hotel owners were charging them even though their period of stay was over and that they were stranded in Goa only because of the lockdown.
The department has begun to send SMSes to owners of the guest houses and hotels not to charge the stranded tourists and warning them of cancellation of their registration.
Stranded tourists are now hoping to return to their home countries as soon as possible and have been told that arrangements are being done. On Tuesday morning, relief flights departed from Goa airport carrying German, European and Russian tourists. Similar relief flights are expected to be arranged in the weeks to come as well.

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