Panaji: Terming the recently-notified Goa Tourism Policy 2020 as a mirage, Centre for Responsible Tourism (CRT) has said that it will not benefit the state of Goa and her people.
In a press note issued here, CRT said that the policy displays the government’s complete disconnect and ignorance about the present status of tourism in the state and the challenges faced by the stakeholders, and local communities involved in tourism-related activities.
CRT said that the stated vision statement of having ‘high-spending tourists around the year’ exhibits the bankruptcy in thought adding, “One wonders what is the concept and quantification of a high spender. Vague terms like world-class
need to be qualified. The vision needs to envisage a just and equitable tourism with ‘people’ as the focus.”
CRT said that in the absence of a comprehensive development programme for people, very serious issues of environmental degradation, violation of coastal zone regulations, cultural decay, sex tourism, easy availability of narcotics, child labour, child and women trafficking, alienation of communities from their lands have not been addressed.
It claimed that the Tourism Policy 2020 lacks the basic empirical data on tourism in the state adding, “It is devoid of the necessary realistic statistics of the number of tourists, both foreign and domestic who visit the state. This fact was confirmed when the number of foreign tourists evacuated by the state
government in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic far exceeded the number registered with the government. Furthermore the policy fails to reflect the revenue generated and how much of the revenue is re-invested in the state.”
CRT said that the policy conceals more than it reveals and is an attempt of the state government only to corporatise and privatise public resources.
The policy also fails to ascertain the carrying capacity of the state vis-a-vis its infrastructure and natural resources as mandated by the National Green Tribunal, CRT said.