Goulding and his Partner have been regular travellers to Goa, visiting here annually during Christmas for the past five years. However after their terrible experience this year, they have decided they will return no longer. Their holiday plans will have to be somewhere else. What prompted this change in their travel plans? In a letter written to Goa Prism, Jack Goulding, a dedicated tourist from the United Kingdom, pours out his concerns and experiences during his stay in Goa.
Goa has seen a massive decline in cleanliness over the past 2 years. The entire five kilometres of the beach from Candolim to Baga smells like a urinal where we often see local workers urinating and defecating behind the beach shacks. the stench after stepping onto the beach is almost unbearable right up till you reach the sea where unfortunately now the sand is ridden with beach fleas and biting parasites.
“The standard of cleanliness in Goa has become intolerable. There appears to be a massive influx of Indians visiting Goa. We have witnessed that these visiting Indians do not care or respect Goa. They leave their rubbish and empty bottles on the beach itself,” says Goulding. The popular beaches in the North are littered with thousands of bottles which are cleared only by the sea waves that rise and take them away. Other than the most obvious threat to hygiene, these bottles lead to broken shards that can cut into the skin and cause great harm. Goulding says, “I stamped on at least five bottles in the sea this year; one of them was broken and cut my foot. The beach is disgusting now. It is shameful how a thing of beauty has been disrespected to the extent of becoming a local shit and piss dump-place for the workers and a rubbish dump for visiting Indians.”
The main road from Candolim to Calangute seems to be suffering from a similar plight. From broken pavements to stepping over defecation by both animals and humans, this couple’s tour has been a shitty affair. “The pavements are dangerous and completely broken down so you have no choice but to walk on the road. At the same time, the road is impossible due to taxis and other vehicles stopping close to the walkway. So just walking across the road means to risk your life having to step in front of vehicles parked on the road illegally.”
Enquiries with local businesses revealed the visiting Indians aren’t concerned with maintaining Goa’s beauty and cleanliness. They talk to the waiters and service staffs disrespectfully, don’t believe in tipping for service and just leave their rubbish everywhere.
“Unfortunately, our family fell sick again this year due to lack of hygiene. In the past we loved Goa but it has changed now. We used to spend around $5000 over a two week period but next year we will take our money elsewhere” Said Goulding.
He believes that the quality of tourists attracted to Goa has now degraded as they have no ethics. Many British tourists have reported similar bad experiences and quality. Goulding says, “For now, we will not return to Goa until we see reports that say the situation has improved.”