24th August 2015 | By Old Man Goa for IndyaWire.com
Do you know which post or news article concerning Goa is among the most read and most shared on Social Media and various travel forums including European & Russian and British travel forums?
Here is the print screen of that article below:
And Here is the Text of the same article:
Goa’s PWD minister Sudin Dhavalikar, who wanted a ban on bikinis and pubs, Wednesday defended his decision to allow the use of government-owned river jetties for casino operations.
Replying to a query by Congress legislator Pandurang Madkaikar, Dhavalikar was heckled by opposition legislators over his earlier bikini comments.
“They (casino operators) are paying three times more. We are getting more than Rs.1 crore as revenue from that jetty,” Dhavalikar said.
Dhavalikar, also minister for river navigation, defended the renovations carried out by casino operators at the jetties because of the increased revenue.
The jetties are used as ticketing and transit areas, where gamblers are screened and taken to and from casino vessels parked in the river with the help of feeder boats.
Dhavalikar was also needled by Congress members, especially Dabolim legislator Mauvin Godinho, who kept harking back to the minister’s call for a ban on bikinis.
Accusing Godinho of having no respect, Dhavalikar responded by saying: “You ask that to someone at home if they want to wear it.”
Dhavalikar had sparked off a national outcry earlier this month when he demanded a ban on mini skirts, bikinis and pubs in Goa, a top tourism and entertainment destination in the world.
He claimed the ban was required because revealing clothes and drinking alcohol in pubs was against “Indian culture”.
News Article Credits: IANS & Business Standard
On one hand, the Goa government spends Rs 3 to 5 crore a year of Goan tax payers hard-earned money, paying PR agencies to get positive media coverage in the international press. On the other hand, politicians like the above mentioned “highly enlightened lawmakers” screw up everything for Goa! Isn’t it time we got rid of such deadwood in Goa? I write this in the interest of Goa and Goykars and Goan Tourism and am ready to get censored for it.
Dhavalikar has again defended his call for a ban on bikinis by saying the ban was required because revealing clothes and drinking alcohol in pubs was against “Indian culture”. But dear Mr Dhavilkar, the foreign tourists who come to Goa, come here for the good food, cheap booze and the freedom that Goa once offered men and women – to drink, dance and party unhindered, on the beaches of Goa, even into the wee hours. You take that freedom away from them and why will they ever want to come to Goa and pay through their nose for garbage littered streets, Mr Dhavalikar – definitely not to only visit the temples and churches in Goa?
I spend a minimum of about 12 hours online everyday on various online forums as I specialize in social media promotion and marketing as well as Digital PR. As a freelance journalist, however, my professional experience as a Digital PR expert comes into good use. The above article and the learned minister’s quotes have been discussed millions of times on social media and all the comments from readers is in the negative. Does Goa expect more tourists to come, in the wake of such skewed portrayal in the international media. What the Goa government and many Goan politicians do not understand is that paying a PR agency alone cannot mitigate the damage caused by the haywire and lackadaisical utterances of their own people.
What Goa needs to promote Tourism internationally?
One of the important things that the Goa government should do immediately is to ban and prohibit all government officials, ministers, politicians, etc from speaking to the media – at least in an official capacity. There should be just one or two people authorized to speak to the press. Even the utterances by the official spokespersons should be well-though of and discussed with a team internally.
Goa needs an army or team of 50 to 100 internet and social media savvy professionals from within Goa – who understand the state and its pros and cons and who work as a team, guided and supported by a core group to propagate positive and realistic articles and stories online.
The Goa government – instead of sending its ministers on foreign trips, junkets and parties – should invite at least 30 to 40 media persons and travel writers from various countries (top 5 tourist source nations like Russian, Great Britain, Europe, etc) to spend a week in Goa. This international media junket should be very well planned and the international press and media should get an opportunity to interact and meet with the real Goa.
But before the government can invite the international press, it should enlist thousands of volunteers at the district and village level to clean up Goa. First Goa needs a massive, state-wide cleanliness drive. The Goa government should make it compulsory for every Goan male and female above the age of 18 and below 45 to devote 4-6 hours every week in community service to help clean up Goa – its beaches, roads, gardens and open spaces. This massive co-ordinated effort is actually very simple, but needs a lot of political will. It just needs implementation. I am sure every Goan would love to contribute 5 hours every week to clean up their beloved State. Do our current lot of ruling politicians have the determination and will to execute this plan – say we call it Operation CleanUp Goa for now?
And if they don’t, shouldn’t we get rid of them?