Goa seems to be reeling under the after-effects of demonetisation as the regular week-long beach parties ahead of the New Year celebrations in the coastal state are yet to begin this time.
Goa is a sought after destination for these kind of parties on shacks this time of the year and usually witnesses huge rush of domestic and international visitors. However, the revelry this year has hit a low note with fall in tourist arrivals in the state.
The New Year parties used to begin from December 28 would last till January one wee hours. But this year the season is low. At least in North Goa the parties are not happening except for a few places, Ralf D’Souza, former president Tours and Travel Association of Goa (TTAG) who is a hotelier himself told PTI.
D’Souza said two important Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Festivals ‘Sunburn and Supersonic’ used to attract huge crowd between December 28-December 31.
Both the festivals are not being held in Goa this year.
The crowd used to swell during Christmas time and continue till New Year. The gap between Christmas and New Year used to be filled by these two EDMs, he said.
As a result of decrease in footfalls, the hotel room tarrifs have been slashed in order to keep up with the competition.
D’Souza said the highest sufferers are two star, one star and guest houses as even five star hotels have cut down their room rates drastically.
For shack owners, the prelude to New Year celebrations is the peak time, but this year, they are left wanting.
The season is okay. I won’t say it is great, Cruz Cardoso, President, Shack Owners Welfare Society said.
Shacks are making enough to survive. We are apprehensive about the New Year eve. There are domestic travelers who are coming to Goa but we can’t see the foreigners, Cardoso said.
He attributes the current situation to demonetisation.
Still there are some foreigners who don’t want to come to India because they are told you don’t get money here (in India), he said.
Cardoso said hardly 10 per cent the shacks are cashless as there is paucity of point of sale (POS) machines and also it is not feasible because every day the shack owner needs cash to buy raw materials for the next day. State Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, however, ruled out the worries stating that this New Year season will have tourists flooding the beaches.
“The rush has already started. We are heading towards a fruitful tourism season,” he said.