Quick brief, 8 April 2023: Indian government threatens to shut down two hotels after attacks on tourists

18 April, 2023 Hotel Attacks

(Muir Analytics’ Quick Brief is broadly based on the Pentagon EXSUM briefing method. The aim is to quickly explain a hotel threat issue in about 15 lines in executive summary format. Muir has added a quick analysis of the issue that can help hotels mitigate certain risks.)


Chain of events

  1. In Goa state, India, there were four reported attacks on tourists at hotels in March, says Herald Goa, causing the government to take action against the hotels.
  2. Two of the more pronounced attacks were:
    • 25 March, the Grand Inn by Nidum Hospitality in Morjim: Two hotel staffers – a waiter and the hotel electrician – assaulted a Russian tourist in her room at night during a robbery attempt, says the Hindustan Times.
    • 29 March, the Wigwam resort in Mandrem: A hotel bartender stabbed a Dutch woman in her teepee in an attempt to sexually assault her, and he stabbed a hotel staffer who came to her aid, says the Hindustan Times.
  3. The Goa police said that in one of these attacks – which one they did not specify – the hotel had neither CCTV nor a security guard on the property, and the hotel failed to do a background check on the staffer who allegedly carried out the attack, which “violated safety norms and put the safety of tourists at risk,” says the Indian Express.
  4. The Times of India report that India’s Ministry of Tourism (MoT) issued show-cause notices to the hotel owners in question, requiring them to explain their version of events and why legal action should not be taken against them.
  5. An MoT official quoted by The Times of India said the department has a zero-tolerance policy for such violence: “We want tourists to have a wonderful time during their stay here and go back with happy memories.”
  6. The official added punishing the two hotels in question can serve as a warning to other hotels to follow strict hiring practices that promote, not harm, guest safety, which includes police background checks of staffers.
  7. CM Pramod Sawant, the 11th Chief Minister of Goa, has asked hotels to register their employees with the Labor Department for added accountability.
  8. The MoT has urged tourists to book hotels that are registered with the MoT and to avoid those that are not.
  9. Celso Fernandes, chairman of the Nave Marg Foundation, deals with at-risk youth in Goa, and he said the tourist crimes there were partly due to the slight punishment hotels received for security negligence.
  10. The Herald Goa says local businesspersons are urging Goa police to help increase security and crack down on illegal activities of hotels, drug dealers, prostitutes, and tourists engaged in wayward behavior, or else Goa’s security situation will worsen, and it will lose its robust tourism revenues.

The Grand Inn



There are five takeaways. First, Goa’s tourism revenues will decline unless the state and its hotels improve security. Goa has long had a reputation amongst foreigners as a relaxed, carefree tourist area. Hotel violence will chase away this clientele and ruin Goa’s renowned hospitality sector.

As an aside, this exact scenario is playing out in Washington DC’s Ivy City, a worn, crime-ridden area that has attempted revitalization. Near-weekly violent crimes, however, including the recent murder of a young woman in a hotel there, have caused major reputational and business setbacks. Muir Analytics covered this story here.

Second, harsher government penalties for hotels that violate security norms are an unfortunate but necessary strategy to apply to hotels that deprioritize the safety and security of their guests and staff. Too often, not only in India but also in the US and other countries, some hotels see security as a cost center and therefore downplay or ignore it.

Third, and in keeping with point two’s security norms, hotels that fail to screen and register their staffers properly create opportunities for criminals to infiltrate the hotel sector and prey directly upon guests and fellow staffers. It is the equivalent of bringing foxes into the hen house.

Fourth, tourists must realize that hotels are the world’s most violent commercial sector and take reasonable, common-sense precautions to maintain personal safety. Too often, travelers assume their hotel’s top priority is safety and security. This is not always the case, even at the more monied resorts. Muir Analytics demonstrates an example of this (resort rape/sexual assault epidemic in the Caribbean) here.

Fifth, victims of hotel violence should consider negligence lawsuits against hotels that fail in their innkeepers’ duties to protect their guests from violence. In many cases, a negligence lawsuit can be a reasonable option if a hotel has experienced violence on property before, or if it neglects common sense security measures. It can serve as a lesson for hotels to genuinely attend to guest safety instead of paying lip service to it.

Muir Analytics runs the world’s largest, most sophisticated hotel violence database – the SecureHotel Threat Portal – with over 2,400 hotel attacks (and growing.) We can provide the hospitality sector with intelligence that facilitates full-spectrum risk reduction, which helps hotels protect guests, staff, buildings, brands, and revenues. Contact us for a consultation:  1-833-DATA-444.

Sources and further reading:

Attacks on foreign women trigger notices to 2 resorts,” The Times of India, 8 April 2023.

Attacks on foreign tourists: Goa police ask Tourism dept to cancel licences of 2 resorts for violating norms,” Indian Express, 6 April 2023.

A.t.t.a.c.k on Dutch woman re-ignites debate on Goa being unsafe for foreign tourists,” Herald Goa, posted on YouTube, 3 April 2022.

Goa: Resort bartender arrested for attacking Dutch tourist, her rescuer,” Hindustan Times, 31 March 2023.

Two staffers held for allegedly assaulting female Russian tourist in Goa hotel,” Hindustan Times, 25 March 2023.

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