Tourists visiting Goa by the jeep-load and using it as their own, personal campsite, are quite possibly the worst kind of tourists that the state attracts. It is precisely these kinds that give tourism in the state an extremely bad reputation. This also leaves the paying tourists with a bad taste in the mouth when speaking of holidaying in Goa and recommending it to their friends and relatives as a premier destination.
Is Goa now a campsite?
In the past couple of months, various articles have come out stating that cooking in the open is banned or will be. According to the Tourism Minister, Manohar Ajgaonkar, “Cooking in the open by groups of tourists is an eyesore. It creates disturbance and garbage which is left unattended. We have instructed police to crack down on groups of tourists who travel by buses and cooking gear and then cook in the open for their meals.”
According to the article in The Free Press Journal, the Goa Government aims to amend an existing law to make cooking in public places by tourists, a nuisance. According to the CM of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, the government will designate certain places where tourists, who usually arrive in groups, can cook and eat. He said the government would set up special squads by January 2018 to keep an eye on tourists who cook in public.
Tourists camping and cooking in public are a nuisance
It’s all very well that the government has these plans but why are they starting in January 2018? What happens to the end of December which when Goa possibly has the most number of tourists?
Much of the Calangute-Candolim tourist hub has turned into one giant open-air camp this season. Low-budget domestic tourists, armed with cylinders and stoves, merrily camp on random roadsides and begin their culinary adventures even as the authorities concerned turn a blind eye.
Some time ago, Mr Parrikar is said to have visited Calangute to inspect the ‘camping’ sites, proposed on Calangute Comunidade land.
But according to the locals, there are “no camping facilities are being provided where one can cook. Open spaces in Calangute-Candolim and Baga are occupied by tourists to camp.”
A large number of tourists who arrive in buses camp in the fields in front of Calangute church. Since the buses are not allowed inside Calangute, the tourists proceed to cook their food in the fields.
Calangute Comunidade attorney Anthony Dsouza told TOI the time was too short to arrange ‘camping’ facilities.
“But this cooking on the roads should be stopped as it is creating a public nuisance,” he said. “Also, they’re bringing gas cylinders, which is an offence as you cannot carry such cylinders from one state to another.”
Camp-site building is happening all over the place
This campsite trend that has been picked up by the tourists isn’t just happening in the Calangute and Candolim areas. It’s a common sight in the heart of the state capital, Panaji as well. Recently, a picture was shared of clothes hung on wires along the promenade that runs from the ferry point up to Miramar.
Locals speaking to TOI, said that the government definitely needs to solve the problem and earmark proper ‘campsites’ before the start of next season.
If this isn’t done, Goa will go even further down than it already seems to going. As it is, the state already seems to be turning expensive with both local joints and high-end restaurants as well as hotels increasing their rates.