Over the last few days, the newspapers have been full of news stories referring to how many tourists hit the beautiful beaches of Goa for the Christmas season. Of course, most of these were unflattering as the kind of tourists that came to Goa were most unpleasant. They arrived by the truckloads and busloads. While this may sound like an exaggeration, it really isn’t. Then they proceeded to camp out and use the facilities in public. And let’s not forget the amount of garbage that was found on every beach in Goa after New Year’s Eve. Tourism has taken a heavy blow in recent years and even though people still visit, gone are the days of quality tourists. Which is exactly why the Minister for Agriculture and TCP, Vijai Sardesai wants to make Goa expensive so that the quality of tourists improves.
A better vision for Goa by making it expensive?
According to a report in TOI, Mr Sardesai actually wants to discourage Indians from visiting the state. He said, “Goa should become so expensive that tourists should say that it is not worth coming to Goa. Which tourists … the Indian tourists. We must have high-end facilities and get high-end tourism, which benefits the sons of the soil. Why do we need these common tourists? It is not only about quantity, but also about quality of tourists coming to Goa. They say that today 64 lakh tourists come and we will take it to 1 crore. You don’t need them. Reduce the numbers and instead bring the high spenders in.”
While he is quite right in some ways, it doesn’t mean that a certain group of tourists has to be targeted. It’s not like there aren’t any rowdy and troublemaking foreign tourists on Goa’s soil each year. Even if there is data to back up the fact that foreigners spend more than domestic tourists, it’s not right to dictate which ones can or cannot visit.
India has plenty of high spending Indian tourists that visit or would like to. Unfortunately, it’s not just tourism that needs to change in the state. Mindsets need to change, infrastructure needs to change and so on. The government needs to revamp its policies on tourism and do their best to ensure that it does not die a horrible death, leaving people without jobs.
In other words, instead of dictating who can or cannot come to Goa as far as Indians are concerned, the authorities need to look at bringing in quality tourists over quantity and keep a check on how these visitors behave while in Goa.
Information credit – IndiaTimes