Goa’s Tourism Minister says state to open only for rich tourists.
Goa’s Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar reportedly told the press that wealthy tourists will be given preference over budget and local tourists, as the state looks at ways to recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on how the tourism industry will have to start from scratch, Ajgaonkar reportedly said that in order for the state to reach the desired level, it would only be possible with wealthy tourists.
He said those who are into drugs, cook on the roads or cause inconvenience on the beaches are not wanted in Goa.
“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,” the minister is quoted as saying.
“We have to recreate the Goa of the 1960s to kickstart our tourism again. In 1960s, Goa was beautiful and now in 2020 it is very different with more than 8 million visiting tourists.”
The comments drew criticism from social media users across India.
“How exactly would you decide which tourist is wealthy? Tax returns analysis before they decide to take a vacation to Goa,” one user asked.
“How u associate non wealthy tourists as nuisance makers is unbelievable,” another said.
The hippie community put Goa on the international tourism map in the 1960s. Since then, its popularity has skyrocketed putting Goa’s reputation as one of the best tourism destinations in India.