No More Alcohol On Beaches; Fine Of Rs 2000 To Be Imposed On Those Caught
Facing intense pressure from civil society and tourism industry stakeholders, the cabinet of Goa which met on January 25, 2019, amended the Tourist Trade Act of Goa. The amendment imposes a fine of Rs 2,000 on errant tourists who cause public disturbances, reported the Hindustan Times. Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar announcing the changes said that the tourist violating the new law in large groups would face a fine of Rs 10,000. The group can face imprisonment if they continue to break the law.
Ajganaonkar said that nobody is allowed to carry bottles or drink alcohol on Goa’s beaches and tourist places. He further stated that cooking in the open is also barred and will attract a fine of Rs 2000 if someone is found violating these rules. He also said that if the fine is not paid, then the scale of the offence will escalate. The offender can also be arrested for three months. Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has several times promised to ban drinking in public places, but the promise was never fulfilled.
President of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), Savio Messias supporting the new law said that controlling the behaviour of tourists is required. Drawing a conclusion how Indians behave in overseas, he said Indians cannot be seen spitting around the place, drinking on the road, or wearing inappropriate dresses when they are abroad. The state’s apex hospitality industry lobby group said that the loutish behaviour of some tourists is deferring good tourists and foreigners to visit the place.
Deputy speaker Michael Lobo who represents Calangute constituency blamed CM Manohar Parrikar for the current condition. He said that the Chief Minister should have banned alcohol drinking on beaches long back. Business Today reported that another amendment was made to the Registration of Tourist Trade Act that introduces to penalise those who cater online booking of accommodation or other tourist-related activity without registering with the tourism department.
Goa’s tourism inflow rate increased at above 30% in 2014 and 2015, taking the number to around 60 lakh. The number rose 80 lakh figure in 2018, but at a slower rate.
The Logical Indian Take
Considering that tourist bodies are favouring the decision, we need to wait to see how this law will impact the tourists’ inflow to Goa. Goa is a place where most of the tourists have alcohol while enjoying the beach. This law is might foul the mood of tourists. The repercussion of the development is yet to be seen.