The city of Goa has always thrived because of its amazing tourist attractions like beaches and casinos. However, due to the coronavirus situation, the tourism industry has taken a massive blow.
Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar, in a recent press release, stated the need for the tourism industry in Goa to get a kind of a boost or a facelift. The government is trying to bring back the prestige of the 1960’s back to Goa and for doing so, they believe that rich tourists need to be given more preference in terms of budget than local tourists. Despite the ridiculous suggestion, the idea, if implemented, should bode well for the casino industry as many people who come to the southern state do so to enjoy the casinos, which are currently legal only in Goa and Sikkim in the country.
Goa has always been dependent on its tourist attractions in order to generate revenue for survival. It’s not a surprise that the government will put in a lot of effort to revitalize the tourism industry after the lockdown is lifted. Ajgaonkar has told the press that the state will have to reinvent its tourism profile and return to the 1960s to rebuild itself as a tourism destination.
The minister has reportedly also said that he wants all those who are interested in drugs, cook on the roads or are an inconvenience on the beaches are welcomed in the state. Only tourists who are wealthy and can honor Goa’s culture and beauty are desirable. He stressed that he didn’t want budget holidayers and backpackers to come to the state.
On the contrary, it was the so-called “hippie culture” that put Goa on the international map during the 1960’s.
The city of Goa has come a long way since and has managed to become a proper tourist destination because of its hawker-filled beaches and on-shore and off-shore casinos which managed to bring in over 8 million tourists during 2019-20.
The important question that comes to mind is what does this mean for the casino industry? If the “only rich people” plan is implemented, it seems to us that it would actually be a great help to the casino industry.
It is a well known fact that the casino industry plays a huge role in attracting tourism to the state. There is no guarantee as to when casinos will re-open since the shutdown of all public places in March, but we can be certain that the opening of casinos will play a major role in getting Goa’s tourism industry back on track!
Nevertheless, as Ajgaonkar aptly said, “Until state-to-state level travel can happen, we cannot do anything. I feel only when a vaccine is invented, or a cure is developed, that the tourism movement will begin to happen in Goa.”
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