Panaji: Goa`s northernmost coastal village - Morjim - may end up like the beach resorts of the
Mediterranean which have lost their culture to growing tourism and trade, warns an international study.
"Morjim is at crossroads. It can preserve its natural riches with a vibrant and caring tourism industry or it can suffer the same fate of beach resorts in the Mediterranean whose culture is destroyed," according to Oxford Brookes University`s Hilde Dunker, an expert in sustainable tourism.
The detailed study conducted by the Centre for Development and Emergency Practice (CENDEP) at Oxford Brookes University, in collaboration with NGO SEEDS India and the
International Centre Goa (ICG) has identified key threats as well as opportunities for Morjim.
The 15-page document is being released today in Morjim`s fish market, an area frequented by most of the locals, 40 kms away from here.
The study says, "Unless better managed, Morjim`s growing tourism trade risks swamping this quiet village, and plunging those already vulnerable into further uncertainty." Morjim is also known as mini-Russia as several hundreds of Russians have made this village their second home.
The village, represented by BJP?s Goa unit chief Laxmikant Parsekar in the State Legislative Assembly, also saw Nationalist Congress Party leader Rajan Ghate launching a campaign against the foreigners buying land here.
The campaign had snowballed into full length agitation forcing the state government to initiate an inquiry which identified that around 400-odd foreigners had purchased properties in Goa by violating the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).