Panaji, Jan 15 (IANS) Some Indian tourists who visit the Goa beaches think every girl on the beach is “available” and the influx of such tourists has led to a decline in the coastal state’s tourism fortunes, Deputy Speaker and BJP MLA Michael Lobo said on Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters at the Goa Police headquarters here, Lobo, who is a legislator from the Calangute Assembly constituency — home to popular beaches, also lashed out at Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, blaming him for not cracking down on errant tourists, which the lawmaker said, had led to a decline in overall tourist footfalls in the coastal state.
“… What we have got here in the coastal belt today, including north and south (districts) are all those people who just come over here thinking Goa is something else only,” he said.
“That is a liquor destination, drug destination, prostitution destination. In their mind, they think every girl who is there on the beach is available. They get drunk. They do whatever they want because you can carry any amount of (alcohol) bottles on the beach. You can break the bottles on the beach and just walk away,” he added.
Lobo, who met Director General of Police Muktesh Chander and submitted to him a memorandum in which he sought a check on such tourism-related menace, said that Parrikar, despite repeated requests, had not issued orders banning liquor consumption on Goa’s beaches.
“Tourism Department is responsible. Our Chief Minister is responsible for this. 100 per cent he is responsible. He should have brought out an order banning drinking of alcohol on beaches. We have requested him on several occasions,” Lobo said, adding that drinking of alcohol on beaches should be made a punishable offence.
“Chief Minister is responsible for bringing about these orders… The orders have not come, so nobody can act. We are all helpless. A tourist comes and does what he wants,” Lobo added.
Over the last few days, Goa’s tourism and travel industry stakeholders have bemoaned the declining number of tourist footfalls over the last couple of years, citing poor infrastructure, bad planning, sloppy law and order and harassment of tourists by police personnel.
Goa is one of the top beach and nightlife tourism destinations in the country. In 2018 it attracted more than seven million tourists, out of which half a million were foreigners.