In Goa, it's raining tourists this monsoon

Thrilled by Goa’s raindrop tourism, visitors are taking back memories, reels and experiences to share, enabling brisk business for locals
TOURISM WITHOUT A BREAK: Come rain or shine, tourists are thronging coastal Goa to unwind and fill themselves up with memories.
TOURISM WITHOUT A BREAK: Come rain or shine, tourists are thronging coastal Goa to unwind and fill themselves up with memories.Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

Goa’s beaches are attracting tourists as much in the rain - an off-season in the coastal State - as during the season. Though arrivals are at a lower quantum, stakeholders in the industry are happy with the surge in domestic middle and lower middle-class guests.

“It does not matter to me how rich or poor a tourist is because, irrespective of that, my booze gets sold. I have not witnessed a dip in sales since the start of the season last year,” admits Irwin, who owns a retail liquor shop in Colva.

It does not matter to me how rich or poor a tourist is because, irrespective of that, my booze gets sold. I have not witnessed a dip in sales since the start of the season last year.

Irwin, owner of a liquor shop in Colva

“I have guests who stay in hotels, I have guests who stay in rooms hired out and guests who stop their vehicles and pickup stock for their stay and probably to take back home. Except for a lull during the elections, business has been very good,” continues Irwin.

As Irwin speaks, the rain stops, the sun peeps out. Slowly the crowd on the beach swells. Praveena, in her teens, hands her mobile to her mother, runs towards the sea and completes a dance sequence.

BRISK BUSINESS: As tourism goes on non-stop, vendors and hawkers make hay.
BRISK BUSINESS: As tourism goes on non-stop, vendors and hawkers make hay.Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

“I am learning to be a Youtuber. I am making a video of our stay in Goa and once ready, I intend to share it with my friends. I have around 8000 followers and they are mostly my age and most are my friends, relatives or their friends,” she explains as she adjusts her stole.

“I convinced my parents to choose Goa for their holidays because of some videos shared by my friends who were here before. I was enchanted by the place but we want to discover Goa by meeting people who live here,” states Praveena, as her mother joins the conversation.

TOURISM WITHOUT A BREAK: Come rain or shine, tourists are thronging coastal Goa to unwind and fill themselves up with memories.
Raindrop tourism: Goa beyond beaches and sunshine

“I believe,” says Praveena’s mother Parsum, “a local of any place one visits is the best guide.” She further reasons this out saying, “A visitor gives you his or her view but a local tells you his or her story best.”

Come rain or shine, Youtubers have reached the best and worst places in Goa, riding on bikes and that experience has seen many a tourist bite dust and leave them injured.

The rains also draw those seeking something different. “We have come to Goa in the rains, despite having been warned of the travails, because of our desire to connect with nature and hence our decision to stay away from the beach,” says Fred, as he and his fiancé, Nick, enjoy a pastry in a coffee shop.

NO MONSOON BLUES: Steady stream of tourists into the State has kept the cash registers of businesses ringing.
NO MONSOON BLUES: Steady stream of tourists into the State has kept the cash registers of businesses ringing. Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

“We went for a drive to Tambdi Surla and the experience was ethereal. Since we were told that finding good restaurants there would be difficult, we got a lunch box from our hotel and were out till evening,” says Nick as she orders another plate of bhajiyas. “This is a lovely snack,” she says biting into one.

The couple from Punjab is not keen on visiting North Goa because of experiences in their home State. “Drugs are a big problem in our State and we have not heard good things of the north, hence our decision to stay in the south,” they said.

We went for a drive to Tambdi Surla and the experience was ethereal. Since we were told that finding good restaurants there would be difficult, we got a lunch box from our hotel and were out till evening

Nick, a tourist

“We were told that it rains a lot but have not seen much of it during our two-day stay,” says Nick. “It must be the effect of climate change,” nudges in her companion.

As first month of the monsoons comes to a close, visitors seem less affected by the rains and more enamoured with them, taking back lasting memories of Goa’s raindrop tourism.

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