IANS - Indo-Asian News Service - December 4, 2010

'Filthy, expensive Goa no longer attracts German tourists'

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.


Germans say goodbye to Goa due to filth: Experts

PTI - Press Trust of India - December 4, 2010

The filth on Goa beaches and expensive holidays have made the state less preferred vacation gateway for the Germans, an expert said.

"The Germans who have arrived on their holiday in Goa recently have written on our website that they are saying good bye to the state," Aurobindo A P G Xavier, President, Indo-German Friendship Society, Goa, told PTI.

He said that the website run by the society (www.igsg. org) has been receiving articles by German visitors who find the state as filthy.

"Moreover, it's expensive destination. Tourists find Thailand cheaper than Goa, so they have now changed their choice," Xavier, a Goan-based in Germany, said.

Xavier is amongst the batch of Goans who were studying in Portugal when Goa was liberated from Portuguese rule.

He later travelled to Germany to eke out living and has made the European state as his home.

He said that there many German tourists who come to Goa and cut short their trip and venture to other destinations as they find garbage around as menacing.

"Germans are conscious about the environment," Xavier added. Goa, which receives 24 lakh tourists annually, is grappling with the garbage issue and tourism department has itself conceded that litter on the beaches is not welcomed by the tourists.

Xavier said that the drug menace on the beaches also discourages Germans. "There is lot of drugs and sex on the beaches which is driving away Germans, he said.

Russians are the largest chunk of foreign tourists visiting Goa followed by UK. As per a rough estimate, Goa receives around 8,000 German travellers.