Bikinis back in Goa tourism campaigns

Bikinis back in Goa tourism campaigns

Former Miss Russia runner-up Svetlana Stepankovskaya and Indian model Alisha Pekha lead Goa Tourism's Rs.8 million ($180,000) campaign in Europe, especially Russia. Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhary is also a part of the advertisement, which has been released in the Europe market, ahead of the tourism season which begins here in October.

"The aesthetically shot ads feature Svetlana Stepankovskaya, first runner-up of Miss Russia 2009, Miss India 2010 finalist Alisha Pekha, and Bollywood actress Mahima Chaudhary. The ads feature the many aspects of Goa as a tourist destination," Director of Tourism Swapnil Naik told IANS.

The models are well known names in the industry and Svetlana is extremely popular in Russia, Naik said.

"The television ads are primarily shot for the European markets and will be screened in the UK and Russia over the next few months as Goa prepares for its next tourism season. Travellers from Europe are mainly drawn to Goa because of its beautiful sunny beaches," Naik added.

Goa Tourism last year banned bikini-clad women from its campaigns in a bid to promote the state as a "family tourism" destination.

Advertising agencies empanelled with the department were formally directed to give bikinis the 'snip'.

When asked about the u-turn, Naik said: "The announcement pertains to advertising campaigns within the domestic markets. That decision still stands."
Goa attracts nearly 2.6 million tourists annually, out of which half a million are foreigners.