Goa being one of the major tourist destinations in the India people from all over the country longs to visit Goa at least once in their lifetime regardless of their budget and these tourists are known as low budget or cooking on the roadside tourists. The tourism stakeholders and locals have been opposing such tourism but there is roadmap yet made to stop such practices.
This trend is lately become more rampant due to the increase in travel trend in the country. The tourists normally come into the state in the packed buses or private vehicles along with the provision of cooking. They live in the bus, sleep inside their private vehicles, cook on the roadside and defalcate in open.
The major flow of such tourists comes from the neighbouring states like Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh in the buses, SUVs, and other Private vehicles along with the cylinders and gas stoves.
There has been uproar amongst the locals due to the open defalcation and cooking on the roadside by these tourists but there have been hardly any action being taken by the government. In fact, the former CM of Goa Late Mr Manohar Parrikar even spoke about making the provisions of cooking and toilets for such tourists, but nothing, in reality, took place.
Now the tourism minister of Goa, Babu Azgaonkar, who has also been opposing the domestic and low budget tourists said that there is rule formed to stop such people from cooking in the open.
According to the report published in the Times of India, the tourism minister said that things are in pipeline and soon the policy will be framed to stop such people from spoiling the name of Goa. “The policy and guidelines were being drafted when director Sanjeev Gadkar was transferred and, hence, it was delayed.”
According to the sources, its been almost a year since the Tourism department had formulated the Goa Tourist Places (Protection and Maintenance) (Amendment) Act, 2019, which prohibits consuming alcohol and cooking in public, but the things have not yet been implemented due to various reasons.
The South Goa is facing more brunt of this as its pristine beaches are being spoiled due to roadside cooking and open defalcation. The people who cook in open often make the place dirty leaving behind spoiled food and alcohol bottles.
There is also an increase in plastic garbage nuisance in South Goa due to the low budget tourism boom, said the sources. One can witness the piles of plastic bottles and bags thrown all over the places which tourists leave behind after they move out from one location to another.
Ajgaonkar has been vocal in expressing his displeasure against domestic tourists from neighbouring states coming in buses and tempo travellers and cooking in public spaces as they contribute very little to the state’s tourism industry. “Such tourism should not be encouraged in the state,” he said.
According to the police in charge of Colva said that police has got the power to penalise the tourists drinking and cooking in the public, there is been hardly any development in the situation for all these years long.
Meanwhile, the tourism minister of Goa is very happy about his so-called effort to make Goa as an international destination by bringing the music festivals like Sunburn into the state. He is also very positive that soon such festivals will become more frequent in the state.
There is no doubt that budget tourist does not bring any revenue to the state and there is a need of strong tourism policy which is not in place till now and unless until the proper tourism map is drafted the situation can only keep getting worse with the time.