Hanv Saiba Polthodi (Goa) Voitha! Many Mangaloreans Head towards Goa to Usher NY 2022
Mangaluru: With the Karnataka state government clamping restrictions on New Year celebrations, Mangaloreans have decided to celebrate in homes, resorts or villas in the coastal city, while quite a few of them have decided to celebrate in Goa. The restrictions like the Night Curfew clamped by our state government is nothing but a joke and nonsense like the Covid virus comes out only during the late night and wee hours-what a dumb idea by our smart politicians? With no New Year parties happening in this Coastal City, I and my friends will pack our bags this afternoon and head towards the Calangute Beach area in Goa by Scorpio SUV- and we can’t wait to usher New Year 2022 with a bang on the beautiful sea-shore of Calangute.
The mirthful exuberance of the fun and music-loving people of Goa reaches its climax during New Year Eve celebrations. Who can miss the different kinds of celebrations tonight like singing, dancing, drinking, feasting and various other types of merrymaking? Most of the major streets of Goa become lively with the graceful dances, strumming of guitars and many more. New Year’s Eve revellers from the city, unwilling to be restricted by the 10 pm to 5 am curfew that cramps their late nights in pubs and resto-bars here, are taking off to Goa, and Team Mangalorean interacted with a few who have planned their outing to Goa for NYE celebrations.
Those used to partying late into the night during New Year’s Eve won’t sit at home. One option is to head to Goa. Stany Pinto and a group of friends have booked a beach villa to welcome the new year. “The restrictions were expected, and hence we had planned in advance and booked a beach villa. This is much better than going to watering holes here in Mangaluru which have restrictions on occupancy and have to close the place by 10 pm. Since it is going to be a private party, we now need not worry about the restrictions,” said Stany, a businessman. Like Stany, many have decided to welcome the New Year at beach villas, resorts or homes.
Yet another City’s reveller Gaurav, an IT employee said, “It was a ritual to go to the watering holes, party till midnight and return home on New Year’s Eve. However, after the outbreak of Covid, it has not been possible due to the restrictions. We have decided to celebrate in our house, by inviting friends and family. The best thing about celebrating in your house, is that there is no risk of drinking and driving”. Working professional Anita D’Souza has planned a trip to Goa. “I do not want to spend New Year in Mangaluru as it is depressing to celebrate in a place which looks desolate at this time of the year. Heading off to Goa seemed like the only option to ring in the New Year,” she said.
Many have planned day travel to these destinations by road instead of flights, due to various restrictions at the airport, including a negative RT-PCR test report, if one has travelled from some states and Union territories. There are many who want to celebrate away from home and have decided to head towards Goa. “Last New Year it was in Goa, and this year too. We have been frequenting Goa more often due to the restrictions,” said a newly married couple, Ashok and Reena.
Those in the travel business confirmed that people have started booking tickets for Goa for the New Year celebration. William D’Souza, the proprietor of Globe Travels, Mangaluru who is currently in Canada with his family there, speaking to Team Mangalorean over the phone said, “My staff at our office have been getting calls to book hotel reservations and train tickets to Goa, and they are trying their best to oblige them, due to the heavy rush. Even the hoteliers in Goa have jacked up their prices two-three times the regular room tariff for 31st December and 1st January. Due to the restrictions clamped here by the government, the most preferred destination for revellers and those on holiday is to travel to Goa by road. Some have left to Jaipur and other cities that don’t have restrictions”.
Ms Eulalia D’Souza, the proprietor of Lia Travels, Mangaluru said, “While Covid has been a major setback to our lives, Omicron has added additional misery to it. While we have restrictions in our District, we have quite a considerable number of people who are booking for Goa. Last-minute room availability is tough and priced high, people are willing to pay for it. These restrictions are not only curbing people from celebrating New Year but also bringing mental depression almost. With deep regret I must say, these kinds of curfews and restrictions have killed our Tourism Industry. Our very existence is threatened in business. Sad state of affairs”.
People like her in the travel business have seen a 30-40% surge in bookings for Goa, and other tourist spots, for New Year’s Eve, after the curfew was announced in the state. People are taking cabs to Goa as they do not want to undergo RT-PCR tests before or on arrival at an airport here. They have booked rooms in resorts or homestays in Goa. Even if the administration were to impose the night curfew, tourists have planned to stay within the resort, which is better than staying at home or a hotel in Kudla.
Those in the food and beverages business are upset with the decision. “It is not only about the 50% occupancy guideline, the 10 pm deadline will cause a huge dent on the business. Patrons start coming to hotels only after 9 pm,” criticized a hotel owner, adding that the industry has sustained enough losses due to lockdowns. Many hoteliers have openly criticized the government for selective enforcement and that too without consultation. The late call to curb year-end activities is the biggest dampener, said a bar and restaurant owner in the City. “From ordering cakes to arranging tables, Dj and food, we were prepared for business. This is going to hurt us big time” said a Food & Beverage manager of a Star hotel in the City.