‘They are the scum of the Earth’

February 13, 2018
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IT’S a destination that’s increasingly popular with Australians, but only sophisticated tourists with plenty of cash to splash should go-a here.

Vijai Sardesa, Goa’s town and country planning minister has come under fire for his controversial comments made about tourists to the popular Indian destination, likening them to “scum”.

Speaking at the Goa BizFest trade event, Mr Sardesa argued his case for targeting high-end tourists in a perplexing way, the Indian Express reports.

“Today, we receive tourists who are almost six times the state’s population,” Mr Sardesai said. “Those tourists are not the top-end tourists. They are also the scum of the Earth.”

And then it just got worse.

“Are they responsible? They are not. If you compare Goans to rest of India, we are high in per capita income, social and political consciousness, we are much superior than people who are coming in.”

Australian tourism is booming in India, increasing 200 per cent in the past decade.

Goa is a calmer coastal getaway packed with beaches, parties and great architectural sites that is popular among backpackers. But there’s danger in this hippie paradise, where one tourist is said to die every week. And now, it seems they want less tourists.

After making headlines for his remarks, Mr Sardesai claims he was quoted out of context, posting a response on Twitter the following day. He says he was talking mainly about tourist from Northern India.

“A small section of the tourists of the 6.5 million tourists who have come to Goa in the past have created the biggest nuisance,” he said. “These people have no civil sense and they are the ones creating the maximum garbage and maximum nuisance in Goa.”

He clarifies: “We need to reorient our tourist to what it was before … It’s not about quantity it’s about quality … I’ve not called every one of the 6.5 million tourists as the scum of the Earth but I’ve said that a certain section of them were creating nuisance are actually the scum of the Earth and we need to not have such tourists in Goa.”

It’s not the first time controversial comments about tourism have come from India.

In 2016, India’s tourism and culture minister Mahesh Sharma come under fire for advising foreign tourists not to wear skirts.

Sharma said tourists would be handed a “a list of dos and don’ts” at airports that would advise them not to wear skirts or go out alone at night if they are in small cities.

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