Thursday 03 December 2020

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Economy | Tourism

NY Times persuades tourists not to go to Goa, but Kerala

 

(Photo Courtesy: New York Times)

While Goa’s tourism department is moving all over the world to attract tourists, New York Times seems to be persuading tourists NOT TO GO TO GOA, but Kerala.

A travel piece written by travel writer Sarah Khan, based in Cape Town, suggests that tourists should not go to Goa but a peaceful beach like Varkala, adjoining the state capital Thiruvanthapuram.

The reason? It’s more peaceful and much cheaper than Goa.

The news report has appeared on 19 February, under the heading: In South India, a Low-Key and Cheap Alternative to Goa.

And writes Khan:  “I may not have been to Goa yet, but something tells me I don’t need to.”

Though the writer has not been to Goa yet, Khan makes the comparison like this:

“Others had no problem making the comparison. ‘It’s like Goa, but better,’ a fellow traveller remarked; perhaps like the Goa of yore, before it became the go-to New Year’s spot for Mumbai socialites and Russian sunbathers.”

According to writer, Kerala is also much cheaper to Goa as the bill for 15 persons was hardly Rs 5450, about $6 per person.

Below are the excerpts of the report:

Varkala is primarily known for a triumvirate of activities that render it appealing for active and leisure visitors alike: yoga, Ayurveda and surfing. These wholesome pursuits make it a far cry from the overpriced resorts and drug-fueled ragers that India’s far-better-known beach destination, Goa, about 600 miles north, seems to have become synonymous with. I haven’t been to Goa so I can’t compare the two, but I can certainly vouch for Varkala’s low-key vibe and affordable pleasures.

 

Others had no problem making the comparison. “It’s like Goa, but better,” a fellow traveller remarked; perhaps like the Goa of yore, before it became the go-to New Year’s spot for Mumbai socialites and Russian sunbathers. And its prices are commensurately lower, making it an appealing frugal alternative. As those trend seekers infiltrated Goa, backpackers and hippies migrated farther south to Kerala’s untouched beaches. Varkala might be one of the last resort-free seaside destinations, devoid of megachains and brimming with independent bed-and-breakfasts and ayurvedic spas. And the state’s new restrictions on alcohol (liquor licenses are now extremely difficult to come by, and bars are generally limited to four- and five-star hotels) mean you’re forced to consider less boozy endeavors. You go to Goa to rave, but you go to Varkala to rejuvenate.

“Varkala in general has great waves for surfing,” he said, “but you’re not coming here just for the surf; it’s the culture, the lifestyle. It’s a nice break from Goa, with a lot more to offer in terms of culture and still undiscovered.”

 The bill for 15 people came to 5,450 rupees, about $6 per person. I may not have been to Goa yet, but something tells me I don’t need to.

Read full report


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Tourists from the developed countries come to Goa for the nature and to seek peace - a break from their hectic life back home.

They do not like lot of noise, disturbance, exorbitant charges by taxis, drugs etc.

Goa was very peaceful around one or two decades back but now there is lack of peace in the areas of world renowned beaches in Goa.

Kerala beaches are much more peaceful and they also have authentic ayurvedic therapy centres around which many tourists look for.

Foreign tourists do not like too much crowds and noise.

 
Francisco Lourenco , Goa

Goa Tourism is in decline.

All the foreign jaunts and junkets have not benefitted Goa Tourism.

The current Tourism Minister, who has been given this Portfolio for grace and favours has absolutely no clues.

Tourism takes last place in his list of priorities.

Why should he care about Tourism? His acquisition of personal and corruptly obtained wealth, takes first place in his list of priorities.

Financial wealth, is very crucial in him wining the next elections. It is his holy tool, of bribing voters with goods and services.

The Tourism Minister is in constant secretive meetings with corrupt non- Goans to start up projects in Goa, perhaps for lot of kickbacks.

Goans will not benefit from these Projects. Jobs will be reserved for Non Goans and all profits will be sent to other States.

 
N.Fernandes , London

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