PANAJI – Britain has begun advising its nationals to “observe and respect local dress and customs” while visiting Goa.
In a travel advisory uploaded on the foreign Commonwealth office website in late February, female British citizens visiting Goa have been advised to: “Observe and respect local dress and customs and to take particular care,” in view of a “series of high-profile incidents in Goa of alleged rape against foreign nationals, including Britons.”
With nearly 40,000 British tourists hitting Goa’s sunny shores annually, the nation virtually tops the list of countries sending its tourists here.
Political parties in the state too are mulling over a possible dress code for the half a million odd foreign tourists, who visit Goa annually.
In December last year, state chief minister Digambar Kamat had said that foreign tourists in Goa needed to observe a dress code of some sort. Kamat, a Congress chief minister was speaking immediately after a 25-year-old Russian was allegedly raped by a Goan politician John Fernandes.
Last month, state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Laxmikant Parsenkar had also suggested that Goa should have a ‘minimum dress code’ for foreign tourists.
Congress MP Shantaram Naik, whose comments on rape had created a furore in the winter session of parliament, has also said that foreigners parading themselves half naked in coastal villages were a corrupting influence on school going children.
Nearly 2.4 million tourists visit Goa annually, out of which nearly half a million are foreigners.