Goa should have more beach shacks: Association

Panaji, August 17 (IANS): Goa's beach shack owners have demanded an increase in the number of shacks dotting Goa's beaches, while also urging the state government to create a separate policy for traditional shack owners, Cruz Cardozo, President of the Goa Shack Owners Welfare Society said on Saturday.

Licences should be given as soon as possible, Cardozo said after a meeting of the Association's members on Saturday.

"There are 364 shack licences allotted on a lottery basis every year. The Association has passed a resolution that more shacks should be allowed on Goa's beaches as per the carrying capacity of every beach," Cardozo said.

Goa's shacks are synonymous with Goa's beaches, have to be disbanded with the onset of monsoons every year. Every year before the commencement of the tourism season in March, the state tourism ministry conducts a lottery for allotment of beach shacks. The shacks are mandatorily dismantled ahead of the rainy season on May 31.

Cardozo said, in the interest of beach shack owners who have been running beach hospitality operations from the 1980s, should be included in a separate category, which is not a part of the annual lottery system.

"They have been running shacks for decades. We have passed a resolution that old timers in the shack industry should be spared the lottery system. Let the newcomers to the industry participate in the lotteries," Cardozo said.

The state is known for its beach and nightlife tourism and attracts nearly eight million tourists every year, half a million of which are foreigners.