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Newsletter. Issue 2008-25. December 06, 2008
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Goa News Clips

Goa bids tearful adieu to Boris do Rego, Victim of Mumbai Carnage
Excerpts Times of India article

Pallbearers carry the body of Boris do Rego at his home village, Divar, Goa

Panaji: It was as if nature felt the grief that flooded the island of Divar on Saturday afternoon. As thousands of mourners accompanied the funeral cortege of junior sous chef Boris do Rego, who died in the terrorist attack on Taj, Mumbai, the sky lay overcast, thunder threatening to release the tears in the sky.

Mourners, a number that neither the village sarpanch nor its parish priest has seen in recent times, had trouped in from every corner of the state, including Canacona and Valpoi. Friends of Boris and his father, renowned Goan chef Urban do Rego, had flown in from Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi .

At 10 am Saturday, the 23-year-old vivacious lad?s body arrived at the do Rego home at Primeiro vaddo from the Goa Medical College ?s mortuary. Mother Idalina lay inconsolable, she?s lost her middle son; Urban?s blood pressure dropped and he fainted. What?s hurt him most, says elder son Kevin, 28, is that Boris died in an institution (Taj) that he himself has served for the last 37 years. ?It is my fault,? Urban told TOI, ?I sent him to Taj, Mumbai. He wanted to be at Taj, Goa , but I sent him to Mumbai as I wanted him to start his career in Mumbai, where I had started my career. I felt that he won?t learn much in Goa . Mumbai was the right place for him to learn.?

Parish priest Fr Anil Kumar, who concelebrated the Eucharistic celebration with five priests at 4.15 pm, and Fr Donato Rodrigues, a former Divar curate and presently professor at the Rachol seminary, extolled the virtues of Boris.

Earlier in the day, the do Regos were condoled at home by CM Digambar Kamat, PWD minister Churchill Alemao and local legislator Pandurang Madkaikar. St Andre legislator Francis Silveira was at the funeral and BJP state party president Shripad Naik condoled the family. Divar sarpanch Manuel Azavedo, a friend of the Rego family, told TOI, ?We are all sad and shocked. Boris was a wonderful boy. I have never seen so many people for a funeral in Divar in recent times.?


Mumbai Terror Strikes Take A Toll On Goa Tourism Sector

Prakash Kamat

Panaji, Nov. 29: Already facing the rigours of economic meltdown worldwide, Goan hospitality and travel-tour operators have hit the panic button with cancellations from foreign tourists already trickling down following adverse travel advisories from different countries to their citizens against travel to India post Mumbai terror strikes.

To add to their woes, Goan hotels and tour operators on Friday found themselves confronted with the revival of a domestic problem with around 1,000 taxi operators across the State resorting to intimidation to tourists outside different hotels and tour operator premises. The taxi operators have gone on strike complaining about lack of fair share of business and blame tour operators and star hotels for the same.

Members of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, body representing hotels and tour operators, led by its President, Mr Ralph de Souza, blamed the State’s law and order agencies of failing to provide any protection to tourists from the intimidation and threats from taxi operators. “When the foreign tourists are already facing uncertainty owing to the terror strikes in Mumbai, it is most deplorable that the tourist operators are trying to kill the golden goose by their action, the image of Goa is taking a beating” said Mr de Souza at a press conference on Friday where members of the industry narrated the problems faced by them throughout the day when tourists wherein their coaches were stopped, tourists inconvenienced while trying to reach the airport, etc.

On the after effect of the Mumbai terror strike, Mr. de Souza said while latest adverse travel advisories from US, Australia, France and UK had increased the flow of anxious inquiries from tourists from these countries and a few cancellations that followed, what had shocked them more was 12 cancellations received by tour operators by Friday from Russians.

“There is apprehension, the number might increase,” said Mr de Souza. He explained that adverse travel advisories hit the tourism in two-ways, namely, it results in full refund on cancellation and secondly the possibility of increase in insurance premium makes travel costly for the tourist. While so far no charter flight has been cancelled, the industry is apprehensive about the number of tourists that would arrive in charter flights in the present scenario.

Goa annually gets over 700 chartered flights, mostly from European countries. The beach destination, which gets repeat tourists primarily from UK, gets around 50 per cent of its around 3.5 lakh foreign arrivals through charters. Mr Earnest Dias of SITA Travels and Vice-President of TTAG, said the FIT(free of itinerary travel) segment of foreign tourist is virtually set to be doomed because the travel advisories. What seems to be worrying the Goan tourism industry is the near certain decline it could face during the prime tourist season, the Christmas and New year celebrations when Goan tourism is traditionally at its peak.

While Goan hoteliers had seen reason and in the midst of the season had resorted to correction of room tariffs by offering special offers by reducing tariffs ranging to 20-25 per cent post the latest World Travel marts in different countries, the latest terrorist crisis seems to have negated the effect of the same.

Mr Deepak Bhatnagar, Vice-President of le passage to India, a tour operator group, told, “The Goan industry had realised its folly that high pricing could invite doom in the midst of worldwide recession and the idea of special offers was intended to stimulate demand. And yes, it had indeed got results. But now it looks like the Christmas and New year celebrations could come a cropper if adverse travel advisories continue.”

Admitting the serious problem of cancellations of bookings by foreigners after Mumbai terror strike, the Managing Director of Cidade de Goa, a prominent five star resort in north Goa, said “the tourism industry in Goa would have to tighten its belt to sustain and remain in business in days to come. Difficult days are ahead.”

The industry has already taken measures to up its security arrangements in hotels and other tourism-related establishments and has been fully cooperating with the police and other agencies in terms of sensitising various stake-holders of tourism to the terror threat, said Mr de Souza.

Related Stories:
Trident Oberoi secured
Mumbai terror: Day 2


Mumbai terror attacks will impact tourism in Goa
29 Nov 2008, 1415 hrs IST, PTI

PANAJI: Goa tourism industry is apprehensive that its coming season may hit a dead end following the unprecedented terror attacks in Mumbai, even as global meltdown has begun to take a toll on the sector.

"The Mumbai attack will naturally have its impact on Goa's tourism," Goa Tourism Director Elvis Gomes said. Goa, a favourite destination amongst foreign guests, has already seen a 20 per cent drop in arrivals beginning October. The crisis in Mumbai will add to the woes of this industry, which has already cut down its room tariffs.

Goa Chief Minister Digamber Kamat and state Home Minister Ravi Naik, in recent press conferences, have appealed to tourists not to worry. "All the precautionary steps are in place," Kamat had stated. Despite assurances, tourism industry players have kept their fingers crossed over the oncoming season, which usually witnesses a rush for Christmas and New Year celebrations.

The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), an apex body of hotels and tour operators, has said that the tragedy would cause a drop in the Free of Itinerary (FIT) category of travellers.

"FIT tourists arrive in India through different flights, travel around India and then use Mumbai as the point to enter Goa. Of the total foreign travellers, 50 per cent are FIT," TTAG President Ralf de Souza said.


?Christians have to suffer for their faith?
?The Church does not impose her doctrine on others, but proposes it to those who are willing to accept it,? former Papal Nuncio in South Africa, Archbishop Blasco Colaco said at Old Goa on Wednesday. Delivering the homily at the Pontifical mass on the occasion of the feast of Goencho Saib, St Francis Xavier, in the specially erected pandal outside the Basilica of Bom Jesus, the archbishop said that Christians while sharing their faith with others sometimes have to suffer for it, as has been seen in some parts of the country. [TOI]


'Walking Pilgrimage' reaches Old Goa
It was a true test of endurance and faith, as 672 people from different parts of Belgaum, Sidhudurg and Kholapur reached Old Goa on December 2 after being part of the "Walking Pilgrimage". Comprising people from all walks of life, including teachers, students, farmers and others, the walking pilgrims reached the Viceroy's Arch at Old Goa at about 11 am, from where they proceeded in procession to the Bom Jesus Basilica, where a special mass was celebrated for the pilgrims at 12.30 pm. The pilgrimage began at Belgaum on November 29. [H]


Rita Augusta's beautiful glass paintings launched

A rare exhibition is on at Yolanda's Studio & Galeria at Calangute. It involves her mother's
charming glass paintings. The exquisite paintings by Rita Augusta de Sousa have been displayed at the special space dedicated to the memory of the late Dr Pedro Cabral Adao, former Consul General of Portugal in Goa. The exhibition "Oil on Glass & More" was inaugurated on November 29, following a brief function in memory of art and culture loving Pedro Adao. [GoaNewsClips]


Mumbai terror attacks fail to deter foreign tourists from visiting Goa
Almost ignoring the recent terror attacks in Mumbai a large number of foreign tourists are carrying on with their plans on enjoying their holidays in the state and have no immediate plans to return to their countries, despite their relatives asking them to return to their homeland rather than risking their lives in India. A large number of tourists in the coastal belt of Goa told 'The Navhind Times' that feeling of safety brings them in large number to Goa. They also said that Goa, which was not as heavily populated as other places of tourist interest in India, was perhaps the safest place to be in the country. [NT]


Foreign students under scanner
The Goa police have decided to conduct a fresh survey of foreigners studying in the state to verify their antecedents and have sought the state government?s permission to be allowed to conduct surprise raids on institutions where foreign students are enrolled. The police - who are alarmed by the increasing number of natives from West Asia studying in private institutes in the state - said investigations have revealed that foreigners with student visas to study in institutes in other states have enrolled in private institutes in Goa and do not attend classes regularly. In one case, it was found that at times students disappear for months together from the state on sick leave. The police said licences of the institutes should be cancelled in case of any violations and the students bunking classes should be deported. [Preetu Nair, TOI]


More Lamanis rounded up for verification
In an intensive mopping drive against those entering the state from different parts of the country during the tourist season for want of jobs, South Goa police rounded up nine Lamanis along the coastal belt and some 80 odd persons from different parts of Cuncolim on Wednesday. Police also undertook verification of around 150 from Kashmir engaged in different trading activities. It might be recalled the police had rounded up some 20 Lamani on Tuesday, largely women and around 40 persons from Khareband while earlier over 200 persons from Zuarinagar slum area had been asked to sit at the Verna police station for police verification. [TOI]


Kazakh film bags IFFI gold
"Tulpan", a Kazakh film produced jointly by Germany, Switzerland, Russia and Poland, won the Golden Peacock award and a cash prize of Rs.40 lakh at the closing ceremony of the 39th International Film Festival of India held at Kala Academy hall, here on December 2. The film's director Sergey Dvortsevoy also won the Most Promising Director award which comprised a Silver Peacock and a cash prize of Rs.15 lakh. Malini Fonseka from Sri Lanka was presented the Special Jury Award comprising a silver Peacock and cash Rs.15 lakh for her lead role in 'Akasa Kusum' (Flower of the Sky). Legendary actor Kamal Hassan was the chief guest at the closing ceremony. Hassan claimed that since IFFI was being held in Goa, the state had become more enticing and hoped that shooting facilities would lure him enough to visit Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat said he wanted to promote Goa brand as a permanent venue for the International Film Festival of India and added that the government was keen to promote Goa as an entertainment hub. [GT]


Goan bakers need government support for survival
The Goan bakers who are fighting against the odds to keep their heads above the water. Consumers addicted to local pav, undo or poyi may grudge that the prices of their staple food may rise from today. But they may not be aware of the difficult times through which this traditional enterprise - a cultural asset of Goa and Asia is passing through. Toddy tapping, salt production from agors, baking and confectionary, distillation of cashew and coconut feni, wine and vinegar production, candle making are some of Goa's ethnically, culturally important industries fully deserving the iconic status of 'heritage industries of Goa'. [Nandkumar Kamat, NT]


Various migratory bird species fly into state
The global meltdown may have affected tourism, but ornithologists and bird watchers hard pressed to explain the glaring absence of the winged visitors are relieved that they have finally started arriving at their usual wintering spots. ?It was a strange phenomenon this year as they usually start arriving by late September or early October,? Carl D?Silva, wild life artist and ornithologist told TOI. Sightings of some species around October appeared to be a false alarm. ?On Wednesday, a small number of pin tails and Eurasian wigeons were seen at Carambolim lake, but at the Batim lake, there were more than 2,000 birds, more common teals and lesser pin tails,? he said. [Paul Fernandes, TOI]

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