Hotels in Goa step up security post Lanka attacks
SHOMA PATNAIK | NT
Panaji: Asked to be on alert in the wake of the Sri Lanka terror attacks, stakeholders in the state’s hospitality industry on Monday claimed to have strengthened security to avoid untoward incidents. Hoteliers said that they are complying with the advisory given by the state police on security measures.
Large hotels said that they have tightened security checks on guests and outside visitors, minimised the entry and exit points of the premises, started screening of visitors and installed CCTV cameras to monitor movement of all people in the premises. Staff has been sensitised on bags and any suspicious behaviour of guests, according to hoteliers.
Speaking to this daily, chairman of De Souza Group of Hotels Ralph de Souza said that most of the five-star hotels have upped security in the aftermath of the terror attacks. He said that hotels have started providing training to employees in the front office and transport department to study the behaviour of guests.
“Hotels have asked staff to make notings and any suspicious noting has to be intimated to the police within 24 hours. The control screens of the CCTV cameras are in the general manager’s rooms these days,” said De Souza.
He said that hotels usually deploy outside security agencies and only few hotels have security agencies of their own. “Some hotels have security agencies that are with them for years and are used to the property and are familiar with the employees,” said De Souza.
However, president of Travel and Tourism Association of Goa Savio Messias said that too much of security could inconvenience guests. The TTAG president said, “Large hotels have taken the police advisory seriously but to maintain the level of awareness is difficult. It is doubtful whether small hotels are following the instructions on security,” he said.
On April 25, the Goa police held a meeting with representatives of hotels, malls, casinos and multiplexes to strengthen security to prevent the eventuality of a terror attack. The police said that mock drills would be conducted and security audits carried out.
A senior source at Caculo Mall, Panaji, said that the management held a meeting with the security agency guarding the premises. The mall employs the services of two security agencies. “We have provided to the police clear details on the entry and exit as well as complete layout of our building,” said a senior source in Caculo Mall.
More than 250 people were killed in Sri Lanka and an equal number injured after terror groups attacked hotels and churches on Easter Sunday.