Published: Sun, February 11, 2018
Business | By Max Garcia

Another Goa minister stokes controversy with threats to tourists

Another Goa minister stokes controversy with threats to tourists

The minister, who heads the Goa Forward Party, added that there was a need for "quality" tourists in the coastal state, so that the local population also benefited.

He was speaking at the inauguration of the Goa Food and Cultural Festival in Panaji on Friday.

Calling Goa a state "superior" to the rest of India, Sardesai said it is hard to control "irresponsible tourists" who have been coming from other states. "I am saying this clearly", Ajgaonkar told news agency IANS.

On Friday, Agriculture Minister Sardesai had described a section of domestic tourists as "scum of the earth" and urged Goa to look for "qualitative and not quantitative" tourists. He was quoted out of context, he said, adding he was referring to only a "certain section of them, not all".

"We are dependent on north Indians and this is what they do". And they are the ones who are creating the maximum garbage and maximum nuisance in Goa, " he said.

Claiming that there was a general feeling among Goans that the state's tourism should be re-oriented to what it was before, Sardesai said, "I am speaking on behalf of the people of Goa".

Sardesai's remarks came during the Goa BizFest in Bambolim, attended by top industrial and tourism sector players of the state. If you compare Goans to rest of India, we are high in per capita income, social and political consciousness, we are much superior than people who are coming in. Seeking more private investment, Sardesai said Goa could further establish itself as one of the prime destinations in the world if the infrastructure is upgraded for the world elite. "These people have no civic sense".

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. There are several instances, one of which is a video which has gone viral of a tourist urinating from the bus on one of Goa's most popular and well-done roads from Miramar to Dona Paula.

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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