Last updated: 04:41 PM ET, Tue July 21 2015

Goa Tourism Official Accuses 'Rival Destination' of Crocodile Hoax

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | July 21, 2015

Goa Tourism Official Accuses 'Rival Destination' of Crocodile Hoax

Photo via Facebook/Nilesh Bagkar

Goa tourism officials aren't happy with the media's recent coverage of a crocodile sighting along one of the Indian state's popular beaches.

In fact, the Times of India reports the president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa has gone so far to accuse a "rival destination" of causing the stir. 

"A rival destination is attempting to create an issue with regards to the safety of Goa beaches," said Francisco Braganza via the Times. "The national media seems to have blown the story out of proportion. They ought to have heard the other side of the story before attempting to put fear in the tourists."

Despite Braganza's fervent defense, the state's forest department confirmed the sighting at Morjim beach on July 16.

Goa native Nilesh Bagkar even posted photos of the crocodile to Facebook. 

Given how rare it is for crocodiles to appear on Goa's beaches, Braganza would only call its presence "accidental."

"Crocodiles live in marshy lands in the interiors. During monsoons, river water close to the sea loses salinity," said Braganza via the Times. "It is possible the crocodile lost its way through the river and got closer to the beach."

Considering that it's Goa's beaches that make it such a popular destination, it's understandable that tourism officials would be sensitive to the recent media coverage. Nonetheless it remains to be seen whether this summer's sighting will impact tourism in Goa.

Currently, the state hosts nearly three million visitors per year. 

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