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GFP chief, minister raise concern over slump in Goa tourism sector

Sought after: A tourism department official said road shows helped showcase the State’s tourism sector to international travellers. Picture shows visitors at Baga beach.

Sought after: A tourism department official said road shows helped showcase the State’s tourism sector to international travellers. Picture shows visitors at Baga beach.  

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Goa Forward Party chief Vijai Sardesai and Port Minister Michael Lobo on Saturday said the tourism sector, one of the mainstays of the coastal State’s economy, needs to be brought back on track. Mr. Sardesai and Mr. Lobo said tourism road shows organised by the Goa government should be stopped as they are a drain on the exchequer and fetching no returns in terms of footfalls.

“First, put your house in order and then invite tourists here. You are participating in road shows but are you ready to welcome quality tourists? We are expecting high quality tourists but why should they come here, to be harassed by touts,” Mr. Lobo asked.

Addressing a press conference, Mr. Sardesai said, “Our clear cut demand is that there should be a ban on road shows. These are nothing but picnics for the tourism minister and families.”

He also hit out at the organisers of the Sunburn festival, saying the State government was justifying it claiming that it brought in ₹250 crore, despite “proliferation of drugs” there. “We are giving a red carpet in tourism for scum of the earth. This government is solely responsible for a decline in Goa’s tourism sector,” he said.

Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar was not available for comment but a department official said such road shows helped showcase the State’s tourism sector to international travellers. He said a slump in Goa tourism was because of U.K. firm Thomas Cook going bankrupt. Chartered flights operated by Thomas Cook had brought in several thousand foreign tourists to Goa last year, he pointed out.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2020 2:33:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/gfp-chief-minister-raise-concern-over-slump-in-goa-tourism-sector/article30483501.ece

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