Sustainable Tourism in Goa
(A pictorial view of tourism)
Dr. Nirmala De Abreu*
Goa, also known as the “Rome of the East”, is famous for tourism world-wide. Tourism is the mainstay of the Goan economy and is the main contributor to the exchequer. Besides tourism, mining, farming and fishing are the other important occupations of the people. Tourism caught the imagination of the people in the world in the 1980s and Goa, due to its natural beauty coupled with the charming Portuguese influence and culture, became a favorite destination for hordes of tourists from all over the world. The Government of Goa has already declared tourism as an industry with effect from 01-04-2000. The master plan for the tourism development has already been prepared by the state and the Tourism Policy of the state has already been framed, but all this has to be implemented properly if we want tourism to be a success story for the state. (Tourist Statistics 2006-07, Department Of Tourism, Goa) But the number of tourists descending upon Goa is stretching the limits of what can be handled by the state’s infrastructure. It is a small state, measuring around 140 km from North to South and just 65 Km from East to West. In many cases, the burden of tourism has started creating a lot of problems for the locals. Most tourists visit Goa primarily for beach tourism; and although Goa is famous for many other things (like its old and artistic temples and churches), most of the tourists, both Indian and foreign, come with the dual focus of the beaches and the alcohol (which is available cheaply in Goa). In this paper, I propose to examine various aspects of tourism and examine them in the light of Goan economy and society. Tourism is a big business all over the world, and one that is continuously growing. The modern world is full of stress and people search new ways to relax themselves and become refreshed and rejuvenated. Definition
The definition of a tourist adopted by the UNO is as follows: “Any person visiting a country, other than that in which he usually resides, for a period of at least 24 hours” India has adopted the following definition to recognize a tourist “A person who travels to a country other than that in which he has his usual residence, the main purpose of whose visit is other than the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the country visited and is staying for a period of at least one night but not more than one year in that country” (Rai, L 1993) Number of tourists visiting Goa
Goa, as was mentioned earlier is a small state, with a total population of 13.48 lakhs as per the 2001 census. Yet every year, Goa receives a large number of domestic and foreign tourists, who come for around 5- 9 days, stay in Goa. India received a total of 3915324 tourists in 2005, while during the same time Goa was visited by 336803 tourists (foreign)
Goa receives the largest number of tourist from UK followed by Russia. Besides, tourists from Germany, Finland, France, Switzerland, USA and many other countries also visit the state. The domestic tourist comes from all over India, as Goa is a very popular tourist’s destination. The table shows the number of domestic and foreign tourist who have visited the state from 2000 to 2006. Many of the tourists arrive in Goa directly by the charted flights and the table below shows the number of such tourists who have arrived and the number of chartered flights that have come to Goa from various countries in the world. The rest of the tourists arrive at Mumbai or Delhi and then come to Goa to visit the place.
Types of Tourism (present and proposed)
India has registered a phenomenal growth in tourism of varying types. Goa has an area of 3702 Sq. Km. of lush green mountains, blue waters and white sands, winding rivers and picturesque villages with local flora and fauna. It is thus capable of offering a wide variety of entertainment for the discerning tourist and the state has the...