Calangute Panchayat Proposes Mandatory Hotel Reservations For Tourists Amidst Growing  Concerns

Calangute Panchayat Proposes Mandatory Hotel Reservations For Tourists Amidst Growing  Concerns

Calangute Panchayat Proposes Mandatory Hotel Reservations For Tourists Amidst Growing  Concerns

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Draft resolution aims to address illegal activities and disrepute brought by unruly visitors.

7 June 2024

By Payoshi Bisht

In response to escalating complaints about the disruptive behaviour of tourists in the scenic coastal village of Calangute in North Goa, the local panchayat has tabled a controversial proposal. The draft resolution, if approved, would mandate tourists to hold prior hotel reservations before entering the village, effectively introducing checkpoints on approach roads to enforce the measure.

Calangute, renowned for its picturesque beaches, has witnessed an influx of tourists whose conduct has increasingly irked residents and authorities alike. Recent incidents, including allegations of prostitution and extortion, have prompted the panchayat to take decisive action. Joseph Sequeira, the Sarpanch of Calangute, emphasised the necessity of the resolution, citing instances of tourists engaging in illegal activities, littering, and creating disturbances.

Sequeira stated, “These tourists…groups of 10 people packed in one jeep…come here for a day. They enjoy themselves on the beach, get drunk and throw garbage everywhere. They indulge in illegal activities. When they get caught, they blame the village.”

The proposed resolution follows the arrest of nightclub employees accused of extorting money from a tourist, which led to the sealing of the establishment by district authorities. Earlier initiatives, such as recruiting bouncers to tackle touts operating near the beach, have been insufficient in curbing such incidents.

Highlighting security concerns, Sequeira emphasised the need for stricter measures, including mandatory hotel reservations akin to protocols observed internationally. However, the move has sparked debate, with Calangute MLA Michael Lobo asserting its potential unconstitutionality.

Lobo remarked, “One cannot put a ban on entry or movement of tourists anywhere. If anything illegal is occurring, the law enforcement agencies should be informed.”

Despite differing opinions, the draft resolution will be forwarded to the deputy collector for consideration. While Sequeira acknowledges the authority of the state government in implementing such measures, he remains committed to addressing the growing challenges posed by unruly tourism.