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No drug-consuming tourists, no cooking in public places: Goa tourism policy

<p id="content">Discouraging tourists from consuming drugs and keeping budget tourists from cooking in public places, are two major red flags identified in the Goa tourism policy which was approved by the state cabinet today, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said.</p>
Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the cabinet Ajgaonkar said that the broad objective of the tourism policy was to promote the natural beauty of Goa and the state's heritage and widen the current one-track focus on the state's beaches.

"Goa's beauty is famous all over the world. We have to take tourism ahead by promoting its culture and natural beauty," Ajgaonkar told reporters.

"We want good tourists. We do not want drugs and tourists who consume drugs. We do not want people who cook food on the streetside," Ajgaonkar said, adding that these two aspects spoil the image of Goa Tourism.

Budget tourists traveling in large vehicles and camping and cooking in public places and footpaths has been a subject of debate in the Assembly in the last few years with lawmakers calling the trend a menace.

A major reform in the new tourism policy is the introduction of the Goa Tourism Board, a body largely comprising of tourism industry experts and stakeholders, who have been tasked with identifying and implementing long and short-term goals for the industry.

Goa is a well-known beach tourism destination and last year the coastal state attracted nearly eight million tourists.

The Covid-19 pandemic has however severely hit the state's tourism prospects..