June 21, 2018

Will Chase Tourists Away if They Don't Regard Goan Culture, Threatens Minister

11 February 2018, 04:30 | Melvin Schneider

Goa attracts more than six million tourists every year as against its population of nearly 1.6 million

Goa attracts more than six million tourists every year as against its population of nearly 1.6 million

The minister made the comments while speaking at the Goa Biz Fest organised at a resort near Panaji. Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar on Sunday said tourists who can not take care of Goa and its culture will be thrown out of the state. He said what he had spoken yesterday reflected sentiments of the people of Goa who were disgusted with a few tourists who come and use Goa as a dumping ground and create nuisance. "I am saying this clearly", he said.

Mr Ajagaonkar, a legislator from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), an ally of the BJP in the state, also emphasised the need to preserve the culture, and in a strict tone said, "We don't want tourists who sell drugs, we do not want hotels which sell drugs".

Stating that Goa's development model was about "low density, high cost", Sardesai said, it was not about quantity, but quality.

"We are dependent on north Indians and this is what they do". They are the ones creating the maximum garbage and maximum nuisance in Goa. People of Goa believe that a small section of the tourists of the 6.5 million tourists who have come to Goa in the past have created the biggest nuisance.

Goa Forward Party president Vijai Sardesai posted a video on social media expressing his anguish over an incident wherein a domestic tourist was seen urinating from an inter-state bus along the Miramar-Dona Paula road. "These people have no civic sense". "I feel that they should take action against those violating the law, as per the law", Ajgaonkar said while speaking to this daily.

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Sardesai's remarks came during the Goa BizFest in Bambolim, attended by top industrial and tourism sector players of the state.

The drive-in tourist culture that has off late severely dented the tourism economy and the State, has, in the recent past seen an nearly unbelievable number of people travelling from neighbouring States in their own vehicles giving nearly zero economic activity to tourism stakeholders.

Sardesai also contradicted Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who had set a target of attracting almost one crore annual tourists to the state.

According to the state's tourism department, Goa saw approximately 63 lakh tourists in 2016, of which 56 lakh were domestic tourists, a 19.50 per cent rise from 2015.

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