EASTER MAY NOT BE THE LAST HURRAH FOR GOA’S TOURISM
In our Friday edition, we reported on how the Code of Conduct has hit the night life industry. It now appears that even Easter celebrations will also be dampened. The midnight Easter mass on the intervening night on April 20-21 will be held post which the parties and the celebrations begin. But there’s a catch. Buy the time the Easter parties begin post midnight, bars can’t serve alcohol since it will be past the 10:30 pm deadline to serve alcohol, due to the election code of conduct. And then from Sunday evening onwards, the dry period starts because of voting on April 23
No partying when the sun goes down Down the Road in Panjim is a go-to place for most of the locals and tourists because of its fine western atmosphere, music, liquor and fun. It has one of the hot spots in Panjim and usually organizes various parties’ and events at the venue itself during famous festivities. Every year on Easter night (Saturday), after the midnight mass a party is hosted that goes on till 4:00 am in the morning; people crowd the haven every year on these kinds of occasions. Sadly, this season due to the notice given by the government DTR lovers won’t get to cherish their time. “We have a license to be open till 4:00 am and this time of the year business is at its peak for us. We plan an Easter party every year on a Saturday night and target the mass attendees as well as our regulars. But we haven’t planned anything now after receiving the notice , and won’t be expecting a huge crowd on Sunday as most of the people spend family time and rarely go out on a lunch,” Says Lyndon Furtado, Proprietor, DTR. Religious and Political matters affects Business According to Cubebar Restaurant co-partner Shimonti Gupta, whose restaurant is based in Assagao, North Goa, said “ In any case, juch of South Goa is dead and the North has some business. But when a notice like this (about thre 10.30 pm bar closure, comes to us it makes it worse. Business is business, we either make or break. We cannot do anything about it when religious (lent) and political (code of conduct/ dry day) aspects come in the way of business.” She admits that it is not only difficult for her, but all the restaurants in Goa. She describes how she observed people who excitingly go out to clubs and restaurants, but sadly have to leave the place by 11. “There have been people who almost reached he place at 10:00 or 10:30 and they had to leave the place early. There is nothing that we can do about it.” Home delivery can save the day Chef Arjun Sikdar from Cubebar expresses, “Restaurants cannot expect much this Easter Sunday as there is very short period of time for people to actually enjoy the whole vibe. Many may not even drop in, but hopefully we get a lot of home delivery orders. Or maybe some might even drink at home and then come to have lunch as there is no alcohol to be served. This might have an impact on our alcohol sales. Let’s hope for the best.” Customers Do Not Co-operate One of the most famous places in Margao, Martin’s Corner has been facing difficulties lately and doubtful to make a good business this Easter. Jose Pereira Co-Owner of Martin’s Corner shares his views, “It has affected us terribly, and the problem is not for our business because we know that our place is quiet popular and we have good income all year round. The problem is with the customers and especially foreigners; it is difficult to make them understand that we are not allowed to serve drinks after 10. As soon as it’s 10 o’clock we even take their glasses from the table. We have to do it, we have no choice and it can displease our customers. As for Easter Sunday, I really don’t know how it’s going to be; those who want food will come for food but for drinks I’m uncertain.” Effects on musicians, DJ’s and bands When it comes to the days and events like these, it is not only the restaurants and clubs that are affected but even the DJs, Musicians and Bands who normally perform at popular local clubs and dine outs. Musician Ashley Fernandes points out “During this season we already suffer a loss because of less or no wedding orders at all during lent, and then comes the code of conduct, where I understand it is a necessity it also affects our income as we are more often dependant on festivities like these (Celebrations)” After a not so high season, a “high” easter business is ruled out, in much more ways than one.
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