February 18, 2019

Domestic tourists 'scum of earth': Goa minister Vijai Sardesai

11 February 2018, 04:27 | Joann Bryant

A signboard asks tourists to keep the beach clean in Arambol Goa

A signboard asks tourists to keep the beach clean in Arambol Goa

Sardesai also made scathing comments about tourists from north India, "who were trying to convert Goa into a Haryana".

Meanwhile, the five-day Goa Food and Cultural Festival was inaugurated by the Tourism Minister on Friday at Bandodkar ground. "There are several instances and one such instance is a video that went viral of a tourist urinating from the bus on Goa's most popular and well done Miramar-Dona Paula road", he said, in a video message posted on the party's official WhatsApp group and his Twitter account. "I am saying this clearly", Ajgaonkar told news agency IANS.

Emphasising the need to preserve Goa's culture, Ajagaonkar - a legislator from the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), an ally of the BJP in the state - said, "We don't want tourists who sell drugs, we do not want hotels which sell drugs". Seeking more private investment, Sardesai said Goa could further establish itself as one of the prime destinations in the world if the infrastructure is upgraded for the world elite.

Parrikar had accused Goan youth of being lazy and not hard working, while Sardesai had bluntly called a section of domestic low-end tourists, who he claimed had no civic sense and littered, as "scum of the earth". The north Indian states are responsible for the problems that Goa has today. They are the ones creating the maximum garbage and maximum nuisance in Goa. Claiming that he was quoted out of context, the Goa minister said that he referred to only a "certain section of them, not all". I am not apologetic about it but this is not about xenophobia this is about speaking for what the Goans believe and what the Goans feel. So, we are much superior than people who are coming in.

In Goa's Morjim a signboard warns tourists about entering the nesting site of Olive Ridley turtles
In Goa's Morjim a signboard warns tourists about entering the nesting site of Olive Ridley turtles

Sardesai's remarks came during the Goa BizFest in Bambolim, attended by top industrial and tourism sector players of the state.

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.

Sardesai also contradicted Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar, who had set a target of attracting almost one crore annual tourists to the state.

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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