Panaji: Controversies triggered by local politicians over banning bikinis, Hindu nation conspiracies, anti-gay sentiments etc have failed to affect Goa`s reputation as a prime tourist destination, state Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said here on Saturday.
"Over the last 40 years I have seen women in bikinis only at hotel swimming pools or the beach. Show me one instance of a woman going to the market in a bikini. So these controversies keep coming and going, it does not affect tourism," Parulekar told the media Saturday at the Goa Tourism headquarters here.
Parulekar`s statement comes even as industry captains have claimed that statements from conservative Goan politicians about banning bikinis or calling India a Hindu Nation or expressing anti-LGBT sentiments were affecting the image of Goa abroad and could potentially affect the tourist inflow to the state.
Parulekar however said that what really did deter tourists from coming to Goa were high fares from connecting cities.
"Domestic or foreign tourists hesitate to come to Goa because flight tickets are expensive, sometimes costing Rs 30000 from Delhi," Parulekar said.
Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country and attracts nearly three million tourists every year.