Those headed to Goa for New Year's Eve need not return home disappointed as there's a new beach destination for an alternative.
Many tourists who could not get rooms at lodges in Goa have arrived at Karwar where lodges and resorts are now houseful till January 5. Most of the resorts and the lodges in Goa were reserved almost three months in advance by tourists who wanted to ring in the New Year here. This caught tourists from Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu off guard.
Police in Goa too discourage heavy inflow of travellers on the eve of New Year as it leads to chaotic traffic and poses security problems. Once the lodges and resorts in Goa are at their full capacity, police block vehicles carrying new tourists at the border till the first week of January. The threat of a terrorist attack in Goa has also had its effect with many people opting for other places to celebrate New Year. One of them being the beaches of neighbouring Uttara Kannada. The tourists visiting Karwar are mainly fromBangalore and Mysore.
Jayant, a software engineer from Bangalore came to Goa with plans for December 31 but was left without an accommodation. So he changed routes to Karwar. Staying at a resort, he said he found the beaches of Karwar very enjoyable. "Unlike the ones in Goa, the beaches here stretch for miles. The islands in the Kali river and the scenery at the confluence of Kali and the Arabian sea are excellent," he said and plans to stay till January 2. "I intend to visit sometime next year too," he said.
For others, unavailability isn't always the case. A group of college students from Kolar came to Goa only to find that a basic room costs between Rs3000 and 5000. They too headed to Karwar. "It is cheaper here and the place is very scenic," they said.
Another tourist lamented that the state tourism department needed to do more to promote Karnataka as a holiday destination. Places like Murudeshwar and Gokarn are not far behind. With plenty of holidaymakers here, hotel owners, tourist guides and cab owners are a happy lot. That makes for a joyous note on which to end 2010.
Read more: Karwar's the new Goa - The Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/hubli/Karwars-the-new-Goa/articleshow/7187025.cms#ixzz19ZVEFj80