A delegation of tour operators, led by BJP legislator Michael Lobo yesterday met Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to convey concern over what they said was “uncontrolled and illegal encroachment” by foreigners into the trade. “The Russians are taking over the business in the coastal belt. We had complained to the authorities, but they never responded,” said Vasu Arlekar of North Goa Taxi Operators’ Association.
The Russians are found in the business of tours and guiding and they are preferred by their fellow nationals due to their familiarity with the language, they said. Goa government had recently booked a few Russian nationals working as tourist guides without licence. Lobo said that the state government should work out a solution on this vexed issue.
The legislator, who led a group of 500 tour and taxi operators to the chief minister, said that there can be fights between locals and foreigners if the government does not intervene at this stage. The Russian authorities had recently warned its nationals against indulging in any business activity while on tourist visa in Goa.