The Goa Small and Medium Hoteliers Association of Goa has said that unchecked online room aggregator services, mushrooming illegal guest houses and wholesale liquor shops doing unchecked retail business were the bane of Goa’s tourism. At a press conference here on Monday, president of the association, Serafino Cotta, demanded that the Goa Tourism Trade Act be amended to check and regulate most of these ills. He also blamed lopsided regulation and a unresponsive State Tourism Ministry being busy selling “refrigerators to Eskimos”.The medium and small hoteliers held poor management of the tourism industry responsible for declining footfalls. “There is a sharp drop in arrivals. Instead of looking to arrest this fall, the Tourism Ministry is going to travel marts in countries which hardly have any interest in Goa. They are visiting international markets where the officials have a good holiday,” alleged Mr. Cotta. Mr. Cotta said the biggest problem encountered by them was unregulated accommodation, which he said accounted for nearly 85% of all accommodation in the State. “Illegal conversion of second homes into boutique hotels and bed and breakfast ventures is bleeding the genuine hotel industry. These outfits get liberal licences under an antiquated Tourism Trade Act , do not pay adequate taxes, tariffs as per hospitality structure and thus deny a level playing field for medium and small hotels, and eventually cause a loss of revenue to the State,” said Santanio D’Souza, secretary of the association. “Online room aggregators with their aggressive pricing have also driven the room prices down making it difficult for small and medium hotels to survive. At the same time the low prices has promoted ‘cheap tourism’,” said joint- secretary Pifran Fernandes. Mr. Cotta also demanded a ban on wholesalers of alcohol being given retail liquor licences, which he said, had triggered an unhealthy trend of tourists drinking in public places leading to nuisance. “People buy drinks from wholesale liquor stores, which are cheap and start drinking on the streets and just litter the surroundings and beaches. Goa is projected as a destination where alcohol can be purchased even in a supermarket,” Mr. Cotta said.
Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry, right, scores over Sacramento Kings’ Harrison Barnes (40) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Feb. 21, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)OAKLAND, Calif. — Fresh off his MVP performance in the All-Star game, Kevin Durant made certain the Golden State Warriors got off on the right foot for their stretch run to the playoffs.He also gave Sacramento’s prized rookie Marvin Bagley III quite a lesson on defense.ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss MOST READ Urgent reply from Philippine football chief ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte After Andre Iguodala missed a pair of free throws, the Kings had a chance to tie but Hield shot an airball as time expired.Golden State won all four games against Sacramento this season.“They’re tough to guard,” Kerr said of the improving Kings. “Down the stretch it felt like they got every offensive board. We had to get some big contributions late from Steph and KD, some big baskets from Klay, just to squeak it out.”Bagley III had 28 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings. Hield had 19 points and seven rebounds while De’Aaron Fox added 18 points and eight assists.“I just want to beat them really bad,” Bagley said. “I hate losing to them. We come up close every single time. We have to figure out how to get over that hump.”Sacramento got an early boost from Bagley and led by 11 early in the second quarter. He had 10 points and four rebounds in the first half and spent part of the time trying to defend Durant.Golden State chipped away behind Curry and Durant, and Iguodala dunked off a lob pass from Green.The Kings pulled away again before Durant made a pair of big plays to close out the third quarter. He drove around three Sacramento defenders for an emphatic one-handed dunk then made a deep 3 with two-tenths of a second remaining to pull Golden State within 91-89. /gg Memes swamp social media after Duke star cager’s sneaker blowout View comments LATEST STORIES Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations Durant had 28 points, nine rebounds and tied his career-high with seven blocks, and the Warriors survived a hectic finish to beat the Kings 125-123 on Thursday night.“Kevin was tremendous in every aspect, the energy, the cutting, the aggressiveness,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. “Defensively he was all over the place. He was really on his game tonight in every way.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine football chiefSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesDurant’s scoring helped the Warriors stay close early but it was his defense that stood out the most. Five of his blocks came against Bagley, the second overall pick in the draft. All five came in the first half.“Just got lucky,” Durant said. “Marvin being the rookie and showing me the ball, I was just swiping.” Stephen Curry scored 36 points, hitting 10 3-pointers. DeMarcus Cousins added 17 points and 10 rebounds in his first game against his former team since signing with the Warriors this past offseason.The Warriors led most of the fourth quarter behind Curry’s 11 points. The two-time MVP shot 12 of 23 overall and was 10 of 16 beyond the arc.“Just figured out the end of the game,” Durant said. “We made shots, Steph got it going in the fourth knocking down 3s off the screen. Sometimes you’re not going to win it with the team game, the way we always play. Sometimes you’re just going to have street ball.”Golden State still had to hold on to avoid back-to-back losses.Sacramento trailed 123-117 with 25.5 seconds remaining but closed within 125-123 following back-to-back 3s by Buddy Hield.ADVERTISEMENT PDEA chief backs Robredo in revealing ‘discoveries’ on drug war Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting