PANAJI: Despite drawing flak for his comment that domestic tourists are “scum of the earth”, Goa town and country planning minister Vijai Sardesai on Saturday refused to retract any part of his statement, while also asserting that he was not xenophobic or against north Indian tourists. He had no intention of apologising for expressing his sentiments, Sardesai said.
Calling for a review of Goa’s existing tourism policy, he said that the government should discourage “budget domestic tourists” and aim to bring in high-spending tourists who contribute to the state’s economy.
“A small section of the 6.5 million tourists coming to Goa create the biggest nuisance,” he said. “These people have no civic sense and they are the ones who are creating maximum garbage and maximum nuisance.”
Sardesai, president of the Goa Forward Party, said that he was just voicing the “general feeling” of the locals. “Goa’s model of development is about low-density high-cost… It is not about quantity but about quality,” Sardesai said, adding that the tourist influx has sparked fears that Goans are losing their identity.