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Touts spoil tourist areas, action must be taken against them: Goa Tourism Minister


Panaji, June 5
Tourism Minister Rohan Ashok Khaunte said on Monday that action against touts in the coastal belt will send the positive message of �good tourism from Goa.

"Touts spoil tourism spots. They cheat and loot tourists," the minister said.

He said that "we need to weed out illegalities from the tourism system and for that we need to act against touts first".

"I have been pointing out how tourists get bad experiences because of these touts. It's good that the police have started to act against them," he told reporters here.

Khaunte said that a clear message needs to be given to the touts.

"The police are on the right track to act against them," the minister said.

Since the last many days, the police in the north coastal belt of the state have started to take action against touts who are being booked under the Tourist Trade Act 1982.

To discourage their activities, the Goa Police have decided to create a �database' of the arrested touts to take further action against them.

Calangute Police have arrested more than 34 touts operating in its jurisdiction since the last few days under the Tourist Trade Act 1982.

Under this Act, the first-time offender is fined Rs 5,000.

"If the same accused commits a second crime, the fine amount goes up to Rs 50,000 and there is also provision of imprisonment if the person commits a third crime," the police said.

In January, around 500 locals from the coastal belt of Calangute and Baga in North Goa had protested against touts, �dance bar' culture, drugs and prostitution.

Senior citizens, women and youth, who participated in the protests, demanded that the �dance bar' culture along with activities of touts should be stopped immediately as it is bringing a bad name to Goa.