The United Kingdom has softened its stand on Goa, which was earlier projected as an unsafe place for women.
Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar had personally argued the state's case before British High Commissioner Sir Rob Young.
He had strongly objected to the classification of Goa as an unsafe destination following two isolated incidents of rape of British women on Goan beaches.
Subsequently, he had even agreed to bear the air travel expenses of one of the rape victims to fight her case in court. The other victim died last year.
Following the chief minister's intervention, the UK's advisory for those travelling to Goa has now been modified.
"We accept that Goa is generally safe for travellers and we have now put that statement in our published advice that is available on our website," Mumbai-based British Deputy High Commissioner Howard Parkinson said in a letter to the chief minister.
"While Goa is generally a trouble-free destination for tourists, there have been incidents of sexual assaults against women. Female travellers are advised to observe and respect local dress codes and customs and not to walk alone on the beaches or village lanes at night," the advisory now states.
In addition, the advisory cautions that nude bathing is illegal even in holiday resorts in Goa.
Among the 300,000 foreigners visiting Goa annually, 30 per cent are from the UK, said N Suryanarayan, the state's director of tourism.
With Malaysia and Indonesia becoming unsafe due to terrorist attacks, Suryanarayan believes Goa is one of the safest beaches that Europeans can now think of visiting.
During the recently concluded World Trade Mart, the state tourism department harped on how Goa is the most peaceful and safest place in India and how it is almost 2500 km away from the insurgency-hit Jammu and Kashmir.
It seems the tourists think so too as, unlike this time last year, foreigners have begun descending on Goa with chartered flights coming in even from countries like Russia.
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