Another Goa minister stokes controversy with threats to tourists

Goa tourism

Speaking at the Goa BizFest in Bambolim, he contradicted Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar's ambitious target of one crore tourists and asked the government to target foreign and upper-class Indian tourists.

Contradicting Parrikar's push to increase tourists to Goa to one crore, Sardesai said: "Today we have nearly six times population of Goa coming as tourists. I am saying this clearly", he said.

The minister had reportedly called inbound domestic tourists in the as "scum of the earth".

Ajagaonkar, a legislator from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), said: "We have to preserve our Goan culture and Goanness".

"Now we are dependent upon the north Indians and this is what they do".

Goa's agricultural minister clarified later that his comment was taken out of context and that it was directed at a "certain section" of the people. They are the ones creating the maximum garbage and maximum nuisance in Goa.

He was reacting to a video that has gone viral in which a tourist is shown urinating from the window of a bus on the busy Miramar to Dona Paula road. "They want to recreate Haryana in Goa", he said. Disgusted by the video, Sardesai said people of Goa are angry with a few tourists who come and use the state as a dumping ground and create a nuisance.

Claiming that there was a general feeling among Goans that the state's tourism should be re-oriented to what it was before, Sardesai said, "I am speaking on behalf of the people of Goa".

Sardesai's vision of tourism reeks of sheer elitism as he goes on to explain his idea of model tourism, where the rich visit Goa to benefit the state's poor. "These people have no civic sense".

Goa, a beach and nightlife tourism hub, has been struggling to maintain cleanliness as the state sees a high footfall of tourists throughout the year.

Goa, a beach and nightlife tourism destination, attracts more than six million tourists every year as against its population of almost 1.6 million.

According to Goa's tourism department's data, there had been a sharp 19.50 per cent rise in the number of domestic tourists in 2016 - with the approximate number of total tourists being 63 lakh, of which the number of domestic tourists was 56 lakh.

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