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June 1987 saw a protest against the foisting of a Master Plan for Tourism by the State, which sought to legitimize 19 five star hotels along Goa’s 75 km coastline. The Plan was to be passed without public consultation and sought to ride roughshod over the people. The protest led to the arrest of eleven activists, and discussions about organizing against exploitative and oppressive tourism led to the formation of the Jagrut Goenkaranchi Fauz. JGF fought against the takeover of Goa’s lands and tourism by national and multinational big business, by displacing local people from access to the beach and their livelihoods, and destroying sand dunes, khazans, local agriculture and the natural coastal features.

Goa Foundation has been waging legal battles against the starred hotels brazenly flouting environmental regulations. The struggles against tourism by various groups also challenged the infrastructure provided for tourism at the cost of the local people. In the struggle against Hotel Cidade de Goa, the local people fought against privatization of beaches and retained access to this public resource. Women’s groups such as Bailancho Saad, Bailancho Manch and Bailancho Ekvott, were instrumental in creating awareness about golf courses and their implications, which finally led to Panchayat resolutions and resistance against the golf course at Verna. The more recent struggles against tourism include the struggle against appropriation of an entire village in Tiracol by Leading Hotels Pvt. Ltd. for a golf course and resort. Land and resource grabs for Mopa airport also include tourism projects that people have been resisting. Because of these struggles against tourism, the tourism industry has been constrained, and the local communities, livelihoods and environment is still preserved to some extent.

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