Development is inevitable and, as the need arises, because it takes place in Goa, it’s no different to anywhere else. The development started taking place in the state with the increase in demand for the infrastructure to accommodate the tourists inflow into the state. Of course, greed is also one of the major reasons behind this extensive development in the state.
It began with the entries of various big brands in the hospitality industry and the first one to step was Tata with their big brand, Taj who took over the Aguada Beachfront and built their impressive hotel. That was just the tip of the iceberg and more was yet to come.
When we talk about development we blame the Government but not the people, which is wrong. There is no doubt that the Government is involved in major developments but who sold the land to outsiders? It was not the government but the local people of Goa who wanted to make big bucks by selling their properties to the outsiders.
Following the hospitality industry came industrial development. It is very natural that once the hospitality industry starts growing, the industries supporting them also prop up and that is what happened in Goa.
Let’s talk about mining. The early realization of available resources in Goan soil led big business-people of Goa to start digging local soil to extract the gold from it leading to the destruction of jungles and natural resources.
The smallest state in the country, covering less than even 1% of the land, is blessed with an abundance of resources than most of the states. Goa is known for its beaches but it has more to offer to tourists that come here looking for an escape from their routine life. From breath-taking landscapes and waterfalls to scintillating pubs and night-life, Goa has the best of both worlds.
As mentioned earlier all this popularity is taking a toll on the state. Goa is not the same. The beaches have lost their charm and the beautiful landscapes have been lost amongst the growing industrialization. Goa is no more the chilled and simple state that it was known for. It is now a growing party-hub with developments taking place everywhere,- be they industries or even technology. Goa is progressing. But how much of this his progress has helped Goa? How has Goa lost its spark amongst the growing urbanization?
The whole concept of tourism has been changed in recent years. What used to be a “hippie” spot with cheap accommodation, food, and drinks, is now an elite place filled with resorts, casinos, and cruises. Goa, somewhere, has lost its direction as a laid-back tourist spot that foreigners were drawn to.
The hefty prices of services, food and beverage and even accommodation have made people think twice about coming to Goa. In recent years, there has been a sharp decline in tourist footfall owing to expensive prices. Apart from this, even the transport fares in the state have raised eyebrows of budget travelers in recent years.
Rising crime rates in the state adversely affected the image of Goa as a safe destination. The growing trend of solo travelers, and especially female solo travelers, had taken momentum in the coastal state due to its liberal host communities. But in the last decade, there has been much inappropriate behavior reported against women apparently, according to chauvinistic people, due to their “revealing” dresses.
Pollution and over-crowding have squeezed out the life of the beaches. The ban on drinking alcohol across some states has taken away the purpose of most tourists visiting the place. The nuisance caused by tourists and instances of hooliganism has affected the industry.
On realizing the potential of this state as a tourist spot, many businessmen bought lands and constructed hotels, resorts, and casinos. Massive amounts of land have been destroyed for this purpose. The water sports and cruises have polluted the water bodies of the state.
The growing urbanization has somewhere led to the loss of Goan authenticity with people from different states of the country and even foreigners like Russians and Israelis have settled in Goa has led to the loss of the employment opportunities but also the identity of the State.
All of these factors have adversely affected Goa not only as a tourism industry but also economic, environmental and social aspects. Liberal Goans have let things slide for a long time and matters currently are hitting the roof. Now, Goans are most affected by activities around the state. If this is the direction in which the tourism industry shall move, then in the next few decades, Goa is sure to be squeezed out of its charm and run out of resources. What do you think of this? Does Goa really have a chance of longer survival? How many other ways has Goa been affected?