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Published on : Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Raju Lakhani, the proprietor of Moonstar Bar & Restaurant located on Anjuna beach in North Goa, recalls how business went down due to demonetization that he had to dismiss few of his staff members. With the onset of the current tourist season, he has again opened his restaurant and is waiting to watch that whether tourists will pour in its usual number or not. However, one thing didn’t changed–his restaurant still runs only on cash.
During last year at the time of demonetization, over 86% of currency (by value) from the economy was removed with the target of eliminating black money and coercing a transition to a cashless economy. After six weeks, the report of IndiaSpend published its effect on the tourism sector in Goa. Goa’s largest employer, its tourism industry, has always worked on cash, and demonetization had caused extensive disturbance by frightening tourists or leaving them with no cash to spend.
After a year, IndiaSpend revisited Goa to explore how things have changed ever since. What they found highlighted that demonetisation have largely been a futile exercise that inconvenienced the citizens and scared away the valued tourists from Goa. Major tourism businesses are still functioning largely on cash–those who ordered card swipe machines for cashless transaction have not yet received them and are unsure if spending will return to pre-demonetisation levels.
India positions 40th in terms of travel and tourism competitiveness worldwide but between 2016 and 2026, it is hoped to turn into the fastest-growing destinations in terms of leisure travel spending, ahead of Thailand, China and Vietnam.