Russia strikes off India from its safe travel destinations list, officials issue clarification

Discussion in 'Europe and Russia' started by Alien, Nov 30, 2015.

  1. Alien

    Alien Regular Member

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    Blow to Goa as Russia strikes India off its safe travel destinations list

    CALANGUTE: In a second blow to Goa's tourism industry which was already reeling from a reduction in arrivals due to the devaluation of the rouble, India has been struck off the list of safe travel destinations recommended for Russian tourists, according to a report by the Russian news agency INTERFAX.

    In a statement on Saturday, the Russian information centre in Goa stated that a revised travel advisory had been issued following the blacklisting of Egypt and Turkey. President Vladimir Putin had canceled all flights to Egypt after the October 31 explosion of a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai peninsula, and then called on its citizens to cancel vacations in Turkey after Turkish missiles shot down a Russian fighter jet in Syria.

    Amongst the destinations now identified as 'safe' are Cuba, south Vietnam and southern China. "Both India and Goa were not considered as good destinations for Russian travellers," said Ekaterina Belyakova, head of the Russian information centre. It's not just a blow for the Russian tourist whose options for sunny climes has shrunk further but for Goa's economy as well. "Over the past few years, the number of Russian tourists was not less than 50% of all foreign tourists visiting Goa. Since 2002, the number of Russian-speaking tourists has grown steadily. In 2013, the number of Russian tourists visiting Goa was 250,000," Belyakova said.

    Russia clarifies its stand behind move

    According to an earlier INTERFAX report on Thursday, First Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Russian Federation, Ivan Melnikov, focused primarily on Cuba, Vietnam and China as new directions for tourist flow as they "have excellent infrastructure, friendly atmosphere and warm weather in winter".

    "Unfortunately, both India and Goa, were not discussed as a promising direction for Russian travelers," INTERFAX reported.

    The Russians were quick to add that the removal of Goa from the safe list was not connected to terror attacks but some ugly local incidents.

    [​IMG]

    The Russian information centre also pointed out that affordability was another reason behind falling Russian arrivals to Goa. The weakening economy had made Russian citizens look for less expensive travel destinations across Asia. "The crisis began in 2014, and together with the devaluation of the rouble, Russians arriving in Goa halved in number. Contributing to this was also negative incidents involving taxi drivers, and price increases. The trend for 2016 says that there will be more reduction. A very negative impact is the bankruptcy of Transaero Airlines, which flew 50% of Russian tourists to Goa," Belyakova added.

    She also pointed how expensive Goa had become vis a vis other Asian destinations. "According to booking.com, a room with a sea view and air conditioning in Vietnam will cost Rs 700 per night, while in Goa, the same is not less than Rs 1,500," she said. Five star rates too have hit the roof in Goa.

    Analysts are saying that this could perhaps be a tactic to put pressure on the Indian government to intervene and improve conditions for Russian travellers.


    With Egypt and Turkey together receiving more than seven million Russian tourists annually, those numbers will now shift to other travel destinations. It remains to be seen whether the Goa government or the Centre will try and woo back the Russians.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...el-destinations-list/articleshow/49965574.cms
     
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  3. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    Panaji: Following media reports that India have been struck off the "safe destination" list by Russia, the Russian Information Centre based in Goa on Sunday clarified that a press statement it had issued earlier was misinterpreted.

    "Our statement did not have any information regarding removal of India from the list of safe countries or including India in the list of unsafe countries as was mentioned in several reports and headlines published in the Indian media," Ekaterina Belyakova, head of the centre, said in a statement issued on Sunday.

    The centre operates from Goa and offers a helpline to thousands of Russian tourists who visit the state every year and is endorsed by the Russian consulate in Mumbai.

    On Sunday, a section of the media, quoting a Russian media platform, said that India and Goa have been dropped from the list of safe destination by Russia after a review.

    The centre on Sunday said that its earlier statement, issued on Saturday, mentioned efforts made by Russia to scout new safe tourism destinations for travelling Russians, like Cuba, south Vietnam and southern China and that the statement may have been misinterpreted.

    "In our previous statement, we noted that Russian authorities did not discuss including Goa or India in the list of 'safe' destinations recommended by the Russian government to Russian tourists. We said that the Russian government discussed the list of countries recommended for visit," the centre said on Sunday.

    It said the main objective was to showcase Goa as a possible alternative destination to the more now-troubled destinations of Egypt and Turkey, which were popular with Russian tourists.

    Goa's conventional tourist season starts in October and winds up in March, when the mild winter sun works as a good break for travellers from Russia, Britain, Germany and other European countries, from the harsh winter.

    Three million tourists visit Goa annually, nearly half a million of which are foreigners.

    Russians top the list of foreign tourists to Goa's beaches followed by people from Britain.

    Industry stakeholders have predicted a dip in the number of Russians this season due to a slowdown in the Russian economy and the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.

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  4. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    New Delhi, Nov 29 (Agencies) : In its latest travel advisory, Russia as asked its citizens to avoid traveling to India and Goa due to security reasons.

    In its recent list of safe travel destinations, India has been struck off the list of safe travel destinations. The recent move is seen as a major blow to Goa's tourism industry. Goa has always been one of the favourite and an affordable destination for Russian tourists.

    According to a report by Times of India, the Russian information centre in Goa stated that the revised travel advisory had been issued following the blacklisting of Egypt and Turkey.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin had cancelled all flights to Egypt after the October 31 explosion of a Russian passenger plane near a popular tourist spot in the country. Russia has also appealed its citizens to cancel vacations in Turkey after Turkish missiles shot down a Russian fighter jet in Syria.

    Cuba, south Vietnam and southern China have been put under the 'safe' category in the list.

    Russians constitute almost half of the total foreign visitor in Goa. Since 2002, the number of Russian tourists has been on the rise steadily.

    In 2013, the number of Russian tourists visiting Goa was 250,000.

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  5. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    Russian Federation as asked its citizens to avoid traveling to India and Goa due to security reasons in its latest travel advisory. Interfax, the news agency of Russia, on Saturday stated the proximate causes of declaring the city unsafe for its citizens mentioning there have been several incidents in which local's in Goa had clashed with the Russian citizens, says government information centre in Goa. India's Goa, one of the most popular destinations for Russian vacationers, has been excluded from the list of places Russia considers as safe. In a press release, she said, "In our previous statement, we have noted that Russian authorities did not discuss including Goa or India in the list of "safe" destinations recommended by Russian government to Russian tourists". The centre operates from Goa and offers a helpline to thousands of Russian tourists who visit the state every year and is endorsed by the Russian consulate in Mumbai.

    Interestingly, regions like Cuba, south Vietnam and southern China are placed amongst "safe" destinations. With Turkey and Egypt being off the radar for Russians, she said if India can become a friendly country and capitalize on the opportunity, at least some part of 7 million tourists can think of travelling to Goa. "In 2013, the number of Russian tourists visiting Goa was 250,000", an English daily reported. It can be said with the new developments across the globe Goa can be alternative tourist destination for Russian rather than Egypt and Turkey. Suggesting how acutely the decision will impact the economy of Goa, Belyakova said, "Both India and Goa were not considered as good destinations for Russian travellers", said Ekaterina Belyakova, head of the Russian information centre. It is being told by a report that the name of Goa has not been removed because of Terror attacks but because of local incidences.

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  6. Dark Sorrow

    Dark Sorrow Respected Member Senior Member

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    Panaji, Goa: The Russian Information Centre (RIC) in Panaji has dismissed media reports which claimed that India and Goa have been “struck off” from the list of “safe” travel destinations recommended for Russian citizens, saying its earlier statement was “misconstrued”.

    Issuing a clarification Sunday evening, RIC head Ekaterina Belyakova stated that “First Deputy Speaker of Parliament of the Russian Federation, Ivan Melnikov offered to convene a ‘roundtable’ to make proposals to improve the availability of new, safe tourist destinations for Russians such as Cuba, south Vietnam and southern China. Our statement did not have any information regarding removal of India from the list of ‘safe’ countries or including India in the list of ‘unsafe’ countries as was mentioned in several reports and headlines published in Indian media.”

    “The name of India and Goa may have not come up often during the discussion but that does not mean that Goa or India has been declared unsafe. The focus was to show that prospective avenues will open if Goa becomes an alternative destination instead of Egypt and Turkey,” said Belyakova.

    The reports had quoted Belyakova as saying that “both India and Goa were not considered as good destinations for Russian travellers”.

    According to reports, which quoted the RIC’s statement, a revised travel advisory has been formulated after the black-listing of Turkey and Egypt.

    The reports quoted a Russian news agency to claim that “Unfortunately, both India and Goa, were not discussed as a promising direction for Russian travellers”. They claimed that Russian President Vladimir Putin had cancelled all flights heading towards Egypt after the explosion of a Russian passenger plane over the Sinai peninsula.

    The purported decision of Russia was considered as a major blow to Goa as most of its foreign tourists comprise Russians.

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  7. Akim

    Akim Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    I did not argue with @pmaitra. The majority of tourists from Russia buys Budget tours. Goa Tour is 2 times more expensive than a tour to Turkey or Egypt.
     
  8. Alien

    Alien Regular Member

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    I see. This is a news for me.

    I have been to Goa many times and it's bit expensive for Indian tourists as well. However, I didn't know that, Goa is a costlier destination for Russians than Turkey and Egypt!
     
  9. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Turkey is a third world country with first world pretensions.
     
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  10. Akim

    Akim Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    The price of the tour laid all the components (flight, catering, accommodation, etc.) If the tour to Antalya is less than 300 dollars. / 7 days of the tour to Goa is worth more than 600 dollars. for the same period. Hence Goa fly half. Of course there is a group of people that spend and $ 600. in a day. But this is a small layer.
     
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  11. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    European Russia has more population than Asian Russia. There are also more rich people in European Russia than Asian Russia. It is cheaper for someone from Novosibirsk to travel to India than to travel to Turkey. It is cheaper for someone from Moscow to travel to Turkey than to India.

    Remember, Russia shares a border with Norway, as well as Korea. It all depends which part of Russia one travels from.
     
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  12. Akim

    Akim Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Airfare - not the principal amount of the costs. For example - buy yourself a ticket to Antalya from Odessa is $ 180. If this is a special tourist charter, the air ticket there and back, it is worth a little more than 100.
    In the Crimea and Odessa it was more expensive than a vacation in Bulgaria.
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Airfare depends upon a lot of things. If you have the same volume and same number of rich people from Moscow and Novosibirsk, you would have equal number of visitors to Turkey and India. Many of my Russian friends have visited India. All of them to Goa, and some who are from the Buddhist regions of Siberia, visited Gaya.
     
  14. Akim

    Akim Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    ich people can relax anywhere. However, abroad is no more than 10% of Russian citizens.I don't think Indian and Thai directions will block the Egyptian and Turkish. Of course, part of the flow is reoriented, but this is only half of it.
     
  15. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    We don't need to block flights from the Middle East. I think Russia has converted most of the ISIS terrorists into kebab.
     
  16. Akim

    Akim Defence Professionals Defence Professionals

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    Dreamer)))
    ............................................................................
     
  17. Alien

    Alien Regular Member

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    India and Goa not removed from list of 'safe' travel destinations: Russian official

    CALANGUTE: Russian Information Centre head in Goa Ekaterina Belyakova on Sunday stated that Russia has not removed India or Goa from the list of safe destinations, but the authorities 'did not discuss Goa or India in the safe destination list'.

    In a press release, she said "In our previous statement, we have noted that Russian authorities did not discuss including Goa or India in the list of 'safe' destinations recommended by Russian government to Russian tourists. We say (sic) that Russian government only discussed the list of countries recommended for visits (holidays)."

    Belyakova said that certain parts of her statement regarding Russian charter tourist arrivals in Goa issued on Saturday have been misrepresented. "Our statement did not have any information regarding removal of India from the list of 'safe' countries' or including India in the list of 'unsafe countries' as was mentioned in several reports in Indian media. TOI had reported as in the original statement that "Unfortunately, both India and Goa, is not discussed as a promising direction for Russian travelers."

    She added that her earlier statement said "According to the news agency INTERFAX, November 26, 2015, first deputy speaker of the Parliament of the Russian Federation, Ivan Melnikov, offered to convene a 'roundtable' to make proposals to improve the availability of new, safe tourist destinations for Russians - such as Cuba, south Vietnam and southern China". This is the quote from Interfax, and India is not discussed here.

    Belyakova said "The main focus of our statement was to show the prospects for Goa that will open if Goa becomes an alternative destination instead if Egypt and Turkey." Certain incidents in the last couple of years including fights with rude taxi drivers and increasing price levels have made it difficult for Russians to make Goa a holiday destination of choice.

    With Turkey and Egypt being off the radar for Russians, she said if India can become a friendly country and capitalize on the opportunity, at least some part of 7 million tourists can think of travelling to Goa. "Whether Goa is ready to host so many Russians and will India really become one of the "friendly countries" that was mentioned by the vice-speaker of the Russian parliament? Would taxi drivers not overprice and not be rude, seeing a white man, and the owners of houses and hotels give discounts to Russians who come always for more than 10 days of holidays," she asked.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ons-Russian-official/articleshow/49973650.cms
     

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