The reputation of the hot spot tourist’s destination is the one which aligns with being free-spirited. People tend to get attracted to this destination as it is a place where one can dress freely, feel safe and do things without much hesitation. Goa has a culture that is similar to the west, with people half-clad, partying and drinking their time away while enjoying the majestic beaches and sunset.
In recent times, Goa’s major image as a tourist spot has become only about parties, drugs and alcohol. This seems to have caused a major backlash both for the tourism sector and also the host communities. The problems arising due to drunk driving, drug abuse and also inappropriate behaviour has hit the reputation of Goa as a safe destination. While the host communities have to put up with the traffic, pollution and exhaustion of resources caused due to the tourist activities.
The reckless behaviour showcased by the tourists is often condemned by the locals. The loud music, drunk driving and harassing of locals by the tourists are just some of the problems faced by the locals. It is a known fact that majority of the tourists arriving in the state are interested in the alcohol and sit by a beach consuming it. Often they end up breaking the empty bottles and littering around the beach which has caused a major case of pollution of beaches.
Speaking on the same, the Deputy Speaker and Calangute BJP MLA, Michael Lobo accused the Chief Minister, Manohar Parrikar for being responsible for alcohol consumption in beaches. On Tuesday, Lobo came out strongly against his own government and CM blaming him for the inaction against tourist for alcohol consumption in the beaches of Goa. According to Lobo, the CM had failed to issue necessary orders regarding this, in spite of himself (Lobo) raising this matter several times.
“Domestic tourists think every girl they see on the beach is available. They get drunk and do whatever they want because they can carry any amount of (alcohol) bottles onto the beaches. They can break bottles on the beach and just walk away. The tourism department is responsible for this and our chief is responsible for this. He is 100% responsible because he should have brought order. He has not brought order in spite of me telling him at least 50 times. I have been raising the same issue for the past three years,” the deputy speaker told reporters at the police headquarters.
According to Times of India, in September 2017, the CM had said to the state government that there will be a ban on alcohol consumption in public places and a notification will be issued in the same month but there has been news of any such notification till date.
Apart from this, Lobo also wanted a ban on tourists creating nuisances in public places, “The tourists are creating nuisance in public areas, footpaths, promenades, parking lots. Lots of them just park their vehicles remove cylinders and start cooking. Are we going to allow this to continue? Is Goa this kind of a tourist destination?” he asked. The Minster went on to say “If there are instances of tourists drinking and breaking alcohol bottles on beaches, send us photographs and we will take action.”
According to Herald Goa, Lobo feels that Goa has been known for drugs, alcohol and prostitution and that people who come here for those reasons are multiplying and seeing every girl on the beach as available. The state is deterring in terms of good tourists. He said, “If the chief minister issues an order, it will take at least two to three months for people from the rest of the country to understand that these things cannot be done in Goa.”
Goa is one such place where people come to enjoy freedom, booze and party. This state is known for its vibes and chilled-nature. To sit and chill in a beach while enjoying the sunset with some beers is what exists in a to-do list when visiting Goa. With bans like these issued, will this state lose its popularity? It is sure to bring about a discipline around beaches and the behaviour of the tourists. But is there any alternative that could have been proposed to instead of a ban on alcohol consumption in public places?