A thought provoking incident:

Like many other illegally operating foreign tourists, Misha too was caught in the act. Misha was in Goa on a Business Visa for Mougali Tours and Travels Pvt. Ltd. A Russian National caught donning the garb of a tourist guide at Goa’s famous Dudhsagar Waterfalls in Collem. He was accompanying a group of Russians to the waterfall.  Operating under the name of Misha, his real name being Shamov Mikhail. A foreign tourist illegally working in Goa.

Operating as a guide requires a special authorization or license under the Tourism and Trade Act, 1982. Misha was illegally using his business visa to earn a living as a guide contrary to the law.

Having received several complaints from the locals of Collem against foreigners illegally operating as tourist guides, on February 22, 2017, Misha was brought to the Police Station and interrogated by PSI Praful P. Giri. Here his true identity was revealed. Besides working on a business visa for Mougali Tours and Travels Pvt Ltd in Goa he worked for individual entertainment Shatalova M S Travel agency ‘Chameleon’ in Saint Petersburg.

Misha got detained by the Deputy Director of Tourism, Rajesh Kale for working as a tourist guide without any authorisation. Having been slapped with a penalty of INR.5000 (for illegally guiding tourists) and released.

Goa being a prime beach tourism destination, attracts over a half a million foreign tourists annually. Several hundred foreigners who are here on a tourist visa stay on, engaging in business, sometimes in partnership with local people. Such business activities are not allowed, under the Foreigners Act.

Many of the businesses run by these foreigners are illegal in nature and harmful to society in general. Stringent action against such activities should be taken.