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Goan tourism – Who to blame for the troubled sector?

Editorial

Reading a paper written about the Goan tourism scenario in the year 1997 brought forward many revelations. The writer has mentioned various difficulties the tourism industry faced and its impact on Goans, in terms of resource distribution and share in revenue. What caught the attention most were the problems faced during 1997 by Goans are still prevalent today in 2016 as well.

The writer had showcased the situation of Goan tourism industry in 1997 and backed it with many valid facts. It hypothesized that, if the tourism continued the way it has in the year, with rampant construction and disregard for a planned development, it may lead to Goa’s decline as a tourism destination along with loss of environment in the same process.

The main issues highlighted in the paper were destruction of environment at a fast pace, Unequal distribution of resources (Water, food, electricity, land etc) and benefits of tourism, the State Government’s role and People’s reception of the tourism industry.

This was recorded in 1997, even before the 2000s had begun, when it was relatively considered to be very good years for Goan tourism due to the growth it achieved during the period except in 2008, when number of tourists arriving in the state declined by 9.5%. Incidentally it was the year when the world faced a global recession that had affected all the major economies of the world, except India and China.

To illustrate better, in 1997 the state received 11, 90, 598 tourists in total. International tourist accounted for 22% and the rest of it constituted of the domestic tourist. But in the year 2015 the state received 52, 97, 902 (five times more in comparison to 1997) tourist in total. Foreign tourist accounted for 11% while the domestic tourists made up for the remaining 89%.

The problem is with the numbers because although the state was visited by twice as many foreign tourists 2015 in regards 1997, their share in total tourist arrivals has dipped by half. Another problem is that the state attracts quantity which is evident by numbers but fails in terms of attracting quality tourists.

So, for the past 19 years Goa has been facing the same problems and no solution has been yet been implemented. A question arises, who is to blame for this situation? The politicians or the people who elect them?

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