Panaji: Looting and thrashing of tourists in Goa, a leading beach and night-life tourism destination, would have to stop if the state’s tourism industry had to flourish, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said here on Thursday.
Speaking at a tourism-related function, Sawant said Goa had to stop relying on migrant workforce in the tourism sector for the local population to reap rewards from the tourism industry.
Lamenting recent spate of attacks on tourists, the Goa Chief Minister said, “Looting of tourists, beating up tourists? What’s this? Many times when we see this, we shut our eyes. It may be a foreigner or a local, but if we see tourists facing injustice then we have to help them”.
Sawant said more than 50 per cent of the tourism sector workforce were ‘outsiders’ and underlined the need for getting locals, especially youth, into the industry.
“If we look at the tourism industry today, more than 50 per cent of service providers are outsiders. It’s only when we bring Goans into this industry, we will be able to help this grow?” Sawant said.
“How much will we depend on outsiders? If we can’t control this, Goans need to take the industry in their own hands. So many industries have gone out of our hands,” the Chief Minister said.
Goa attracts nearly 8 million tourists every year, which includes half a million foreigners.