‘Filthy, expensive Goa no longer attracts German tourists’

Saturday, December 4, 2010

PANAJI - Goa is no longer a favoured tourist destination for Germans because it is “expensive and dirty”, the Indo-German Friendship Society Goa (IGFSG) said Saturday.

Speaking to reporters here at a press conference called to announce a weeklong celebration to mark the arrival of the first German hippies to Goa sixty years ago, IGFSG president Aurobindo Xavier said Goa’s inability to tackle the garbage disposal issue had affected Goa-bound tourist traffic from Germany.

“A lot of the feedback that the society gets is that Germans no longer want to come here because Goa cannot solve its garbage problem,” said Xavier, who teaches at a university in Munich.

Garbage and other waste is disposed in the open in Goa, which has no garbage processing plant. Strewn garbage and heaps of litter is an ugly, but common site along the state’s roads and near sites of tourist interest.

“A lot of German tourists, who have come to Goa in the past, say that it is now time to bid Goa goodbye,” he added.

The earliest wave of tourism in Goa, which evolved with the coming of the hippies in the 1960s, contained a majority of German tourists who in the 1970s were attracted by the pristine beauty of its beaches. British tourists got the Goa-bug in the early eighties and after a couple of decades, Russians outrank every other nationality when it comes to foreign tourist numbers here.

The number of German tourists over the years have witnessed a steady decline, according to Xavier. The garbage situation and the increase in the number of Russian tourists has led to the decline of German tourists here. Also, other beach destinations like Thailand are much cheaper than Goa, he said.

Goa in 2005 received nearly 15,000 German tourists, but the number has shrunk considerably over the last five years, according to Xavier.

Goa received 2.4 million tourists annually, out of which nearly half a million are foreigners.

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