When you think of Goa, what comes to your mind? Cheap booze, college road trips, happening nightlife? Well, Goa might have offered all this and even encouraged young tourists on a tight budget up till now, but things might change post lockdown. Tourism Minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar stated that Goa will soon have to reinvent its tourism profile and go back to the charms of 1960s to get the industry back on its feet post lockdown.
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Goa 2.0- 1960s Charm And Wealthy Tourists
According to Livemint, Tourism Minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar revealed that Goa would solely focus on wealthy tourists and stay away from local spending and budget tourists in the future. He said “We have to recreate the Goa of the 1960s to kickstart our tourism again. In the 1960s, Goa was beautiful and now in 2020 it is very different with more than 8 million visiting tourists.” He further explained “What we are trying to do along with experts, is to take Goa back to the 1960s. We do not want tourists who consume drugs, cook on our roads or who create nuisance on beaches. We want good tourists who are wealthy and who can appreciate Goa and its culture”.
In the late 1960s, the beach destination adorned the international tourism map of hippies. And after being a backpacker’s abode since decades, Goa witnessed a tourism boom since 2007. Liberal licensing was introduced in the casino industry. And this lead to a jump in tourist footfalls from two million a year to around eight million during the 2019-2020 tourism season. However, transport, social and tourism infrastructure couldn’t keep pace. The huge increase in tourist arrivals put alot stress on existing infrastructure.
Goa During COVID-19 Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic badly affected the tourism industry across the world. and Goa too had to face the brunt of the umpteen travel restrictions. Manohar Ajgaonkar stated that they have to now start off from zero. And currently, Goa is in a minus-zero stage now. The Tourism Minister further added that Goa’s tourism industry would only be able to get back on its feet if a vaccine or cure is developed to combat coronavirus. He said “Until state-to-state level travel can happen we cannot do anything. I feel only when a vaccine is invented or a cure is developed, that tourism movement will begin to happen in Goa”. This beach destination might have been a haven for budget tourists, but only time will tell if the reinvention of Goa back to its 1960s charm and the encouragement of wealthy tourists who ‘appreciate’ the state is a decision for the best or not. For the time being, Curly Tales Presents Virtual Tour Of Goa