Tourists coming to Goa is a major source of income for the big chunk of people in Goa but, the recent nuisance created by some domestic tourists in the state has resulted into changing the opinion of some people and Goa’s TCP (Town and Country Planning) Minister Mr. Vijai Sardesai has not remain behind calling the Domestic tourists as “Scum of the Earth”…
According to Mr. Sardesai, he welcomes the model wherein only the rich tourists visit Goa as a tourism destination which directly or indirectly benefits the state’s poor people. “The trick is to attract the rich tourist. That stayed with me. It has left an effect on me,” he said adding that the “North Indian Tourists” who are in process of creating the Haryana in Goa”.
Mr. Sardesai was speaking on the occasion of Goa Biz Fest in Bambolim He also contradicted Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar’s target of one crore tourists and asked the government to attract foreign and upper-class Indian tourists. He was addressing the audience gathered at Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee stadium which was packed with the mix of heads from tourism industry and industrialists in Goa.
After quoting Parrikar’s push to increase tourists to Goa to one crore, Sardesai said: “Today we have almost six times population of Goa coming as tourists. Those tourists are not top-end tourists, they are also the scum of the earth. Are they responsible? They are not. If you compare Goans to rest of India, we are high in per capita income, social and political consciousness, we are much superior to people who are coming in. Those people, how you will control (them)? Can you control them?”
“We could control them at one point in time. But we jumped the Russians… We decided to put all eggs in one basket. The British have gone away. And, now we are dependent upon the north Indians and this is what they do. They are not bothered about Goa. They want to recreate Haryana in Goa,” said Sardesai. He then chose to connect “those states” as being “responsible for problems Goa has today”.
Sardesai told The Indian Express that his remarks were in reaction to a bureaucrat who referred to increased garbage because of tourism before his address. “Also, look those who come from Delhi, Haryana, and Gurgaon, they have a tendency, they want to gobble everything. We In Goa have a certain way of living. Fifty years ago, we fought a battle and refused to merge with Maharashtra.” “Now we are fighting another kind of battle where these FSI people are coming and affecting our ethos. Why cannot they stay in hotels? They come and buy plots here and keep building,” he said.
“It’s an idea I always have had. It all goes back to what Sir Vivian Richards told me at a tourism meet…He said, we can have the best beaches, best architecture, best beauty, but if we don’t have a golf course, it amounts to nothing,” he said adding that “The trick is to attract the rich tourist. That stayed with me. It has left an effect on me. I want to think in those directions. Here too, among foreigners, we have Russian tourists, we have put all our eggs in one basket. World over, international tourists leave when Russians come. We all need to look at all of this and I think from a regional point of view, cause that is my ideology. We need to now think what kind of tourist we want to welcome.”
It may be recalled that on the earlier occasions Mr. Sardesai had averred that Goa should become so expensive that the Indian tourists should say that it is not worth coming to Goa. “We must have high-end facilities and get high-end tourism, which benefits the sons of the soil,” he had said at a public gathering in January without targeting any state or community.
At the Biz Fest Sardesai was more vocal as he said, “You have to orient the people correctly. Tell them brand Goa sells. People will keep coming. You need to get rich because of rich Indians coming here, and not due to poor Indians who are coming here and dirtying here,” he said. “But we also have to accept when you are calling a crore and 20 lakh tourist into the state, you will have to give them facilities. If you don’t give them facilities, they wouldn’t come here. There are better places,” he said.
SOURCE: THE INDIAN EXPRESS