Due to its beautiful beaches and unique culture, Goa is still one of the most sought-after tourist destination for Indian and foreign tourists. The state heavily depends on its tourism industry for revenue generation out of which most of the revenue comes from international visitors. However, looks like the fact that the domestic tourists don’t contribute much to the revenue is not going well with some of the ministers.
In a bizarre statement, state town and country planning minister Vijai Sardesai said Goa should become so expensive that low-budget Indian tourists are not able to afford to visit the place. The minister said instead of increasing the footfalls the state should focus on the international tourists who bring most of the revenue to the destination. He also encouraged discouraging Indian tourists who come in buses and hence don’t contribute much to the economy.
Sardesai was responding to a question on overcrowding and inflow of tourists on a low budget to the coastal state during the Christmas-New Year week.
“I (had) said Goa should become so expensive for the tourists that they should say ‘I should not come to Goa. It is not worth going to Goa’. Which tourist — Indian tourist,” Sardesai was quoted by Hindustan Times.
“It should also be a place which gives high-end facilities and gets high-end tourism, which benefits the sons of the soil,” he added.
Sardesai is an opposition legislator in the last legislative assembly and also heads the regional Goa Forward party, which has three ministers in the 12-member Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar-led coalition government.
The statement from the minister certainly looks bizarre given the fact that most of the Indian states’ tourism board are encouraging people to visit their state but Goa which is already the favourite destination spot of Indians is trying to discourage them from visiting.