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What Ails Tourism In Goa? – By Savio Pinto
Tuesday - Jan 3, 2023
What Ails Tourism In Goa? – By Savio Pinto
“The recent episode at Vasco da Gama harbour when American tourists are denied their rightful sightseeing trip of Goa has indeed opened up a Pandora’s box. Though, the tiff between the tour operators and taxi drivers is nothing new to Goa, it has been happening there for decades. There were always some skirmishes, but this time it went beyond ones’ imagination. And what a hit it had on the tourism industry! The blame game will never cease on this front. As I often mentioned in my previous letters that Government has nothing in place, be it rules or regulations to prevent such incidents. All we know is that the local MLAs and ministers play to the tunes of their vote bank, hence it’s time to put a stop.
Secondly, of late, there is so much buzz around about developmental works which will help the tourism industry to grow. And the Goa government seems to be taking full credit of each and every new development that is being unfolding. Anything and everything that is commissioned has been attributed to tourism. And why not?
But in reality, it may not be as at all as things have been going hay-wire. Years have passed by; every government that came to power speaks of hinterland tourism. But what are the new plans and ideas in the pipeline I wonder? When you don’t have concrete plans, what are you going to impose on the people in the hinterland? Have the particular locals of that hinterland taken into confidence? Do we have proper motor able roads in the hinterland? Do we have a proper system of “Home Stay” dwellings in place? Or have they chosen any community in those particular areas to develop such infrastructure required to handle the visitors? Do they have toilets and bathrooms with regular water supply? Nothing of such hygienic matters has been said or seen around in those villages.
In the name of development, land sharks have taken everyone for a joyful ride and the government is hand in glove with those who are responsible to turning Goa into a concrete jungle.
Once, the serene and tranquil beaches which Goa promoted have now turned into narcotic bazaar. The ever presence of pimps, touts and lamani masseurs have taken away the charm of visiting any beach. The shops which were once owned and run by the locals have been taken over wholesale and turned into shops at daytime and notorious dens by night. By the way, what type of tourism are we talking about? Foreigners, or domestic tourists?
Goa already had its peak of foreign tourists’ long way back when Goa was really looked upon as a destination, a paradise to be explored, where peace and tranquillity was evolving on its own. But with advent of uncontrolled and unlicensed hotels and night clubs, the dance bars, massage parlours, the tourism industry has taken a beating. So much so, the hordes of unruly domestic tourists visiting the state has turned Goa into a nightmarish which have made things worse to the industry. The ever presence of crooks and drug pedlars at every nook and corner of tourist locations have also made things worse for the industry.
But, by the way why talk and blame those indulging in nefarious activities? Aren’t these activities a part and parcel of tourism? Aren’t domestic tourists come and indulge in robbery, rape and murder? What has been the outcome of the murders that shook the conscience of Goans in the past? Did any decent investigation have been concluded? Has anyone been brought to justice? How many foreigners’ death should we be counting?
Why should the foreigners visit Goa after all? Should we show them the garbage littered streets? Have we managed to clean the Sonsoddo of its garbage yet? The tourism industry has its own ills in the making. Believe me, of late prostitution is one such profession which has been thriving in Goa on a larger scale. And why not? There is definitely no growth of tourism without prostitution especially when domestic tourists make a beeline to the massage parlours. The dance bars had never been part of, in Goa, but of late they have made their presence felt as well. But not with connivance of authorities or politicians for sure, which are patronised and frequented by the domestic tourists who are equally to be blamed for killing Goa’s tourism industry. And Government cannot or should not shy away from taking the responsibility of killing the golden goose.
Prostitution will be here to stay. And rightly so, because only the law enforcing agency can get rid of this lusty menace provided, they have their hands clean. They have to refrain from becoming collection agents of their political masters.
And now that the gambling on offshore have kept the wheels rolling, the dreaded disease of vice will ultimately decide the fate of Goa shortly. Falling prey to few crores of rupees to bolster state economy, the damage it is causing is enormous. The damage to the river front is unimaginable. It has killed the beauty once Goans enjoyed overlooking the Mandovi.
Why should a visitor risk their life venturing into Goa where their privacy, peace and happiness is compromised by the touts and scoundrels who are out to destroy and shatter the dreams of our honourable guests? Now that the sound restrictions are in place, it will be surely windfall to the dance bars where everything and anything will take place behind the closed doors.
For some, it may not be a sin to visit a prostitute, but for others it’s definitely a vice which ultimately ruin their lives and families. No doubt the prostitution is an old age profession which cannot be eradicated overnight. Instead, government should put its own house in order with concrete guidelines, rules and regulations before you put innocent people behind the bars in the garb of cleansing of the system.
The tourism can still flourish without giving it a bad name, provided the government takes bold steps by taking people into confidence. However great project you may put in place, the million-dollar question is to maintaining that project. Its upkeep is paramount to instil confidence of its citizens.
Let the Vasco Harbour episode be an eye opener to the government. Stop falling prey to temptations. Let Goans breathe fresh air in their own state. Government should work for Goa and Goans instead of pleasing their political masters in Delhi who want to finish the Goan culture to say the least.”

Comments (2)
Tuesday - Jan 3, 2023
Do REAL Goans benefit from this sht tourism? If making money is the only aim in life, can one get his sister to dance in a bar?

Paklos never cared about dirt or run-down conditions. They have been coming since the days of the hippy cult and were happy as long as they got three things

1) A cheap winter break, to get some sun
2) Possibly a source of cheap drugs
3) Little or no interaction with the locals, to be left to their own devices, in their own ghettos.
They would reluctantly interact with the locals,only when we went to talk to them, or if they needed Goans, like shack owners, hotels and taxi drivers.

With the boom in the Indian economy and the influx of drunk, rowdy ghattis tourists to Goa, the above 1 and 3 have been affected. The decline in the Western economy and currency value has not helped either.

So the new patraos on the beach are our ghatti tourists. They don't usually indulge in druges, except for a few smart rse city folks from Bombay or college kids etc. What they crave is chedis, booze and to some extent gambling. Hence a boom in these sectors, in the last 20 years. A sort of get drunk, do grandmaasti and go back home

It's up to us, if we want to serve such moth fkas, the real low lives and earn money. Or close down everything, retrain, eat patal bhaji for 2-3 years and reinvent yourself. At least one will still have respect and honour
Rupesh Pednekar
Tuesday - Jan 3, 2023
Good Article! Prostitution is promoted by the Goa ministers and politicians in two ways: one is to promote tourism to fill their treasuries and second is to enjoy themselves and destroy Goa's reputation. You are right senhor Savio. Cleanliness is missing in Goa and ever since Portuguese left Goa, Goa is becoming dirtier each and every day. Vaile ghatie etat ani sagllem burshem karun sodtat. This the communal govt of Goa cannot control. Yes tourism in proper manner is good for Goa and Goans, but here in Goa the politicians take every opportunity to use tourism for their gains.
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