July 26: While the local Goans are known to love their Port wines (fortified wines) due to higher alcohol content and sweet flavours , a recent Study on the tourists suggests that the male tourists prefer beer and whiskey as their top favourite alcoholic drinks while beer followed by wine is the top alcohol beverages for women visitors to the coastal State, despite the local cashew-based drink Feni granted the status of a heritage spirit on par with Scotch whisky and tequila in 2016, writes Subhash Arora, based on a Report by IANS as reported in the Tribune yesterday and interaction with a Promoter of Beleza By the Beach, a Tourist Resort in South Goa
Interestingly, tourists do not drink as much alcohol as the locals, with the latest study conducted by the Goa University on the alcoholic preferences of tourists visiting the state, suggesting that only 16.3 percent of male tourists consume alcohol daily, while the number for women visitors being only 5%. As may be expected, drinking in the restaurants is favoured the most by tourists, followed by pubs, taverns or beach shacks.
The study, "The impact of tourists' socio-demographic on the choice of alcohol and choice of drinkscapes" has been published in the latest edition of the international journal 'Revista de Turism'. It is based on interviews conducted with 962 domestic tourists in Goa, a state known for liberal excise regime making alcohol available more easily and at cheaper rates, according to The Tribune.
The results showed a strong association between gender, age and income with the choice of alcohol and the drinkscapes. "In terms of the choice of alcoholic beverages preferred by the tourists, it was observed that beer was the most preferred alcoholic beverage, followed by whiskey. The other popular beverages included wine, vodka and rum in that order. Whiskey is the most preferred alcohol among males (37.9 percent), followed by beer (29.1 percent), whereas females preferred beer (28.6 percent), followed by wine (20.4 percent).
In an analysis carried out to identify the choice of alcohol for different age groups, the study revealed that beer is the most preferred alcohol followed by vodka for the age group of 18-30 years. Ditto for the age group of 31-40 years, but beer followed by whiskey. As the group became older in age. whiskey became the most preferred alcohol, followed by beer, wine not being significant.
29 percent of tourists prefer beer over whiskey, which is the first choice of 23 percent. Wine is the preferred choice for 11 percent with vodka following closely at 10 percent, while 9 percent prefer rum. Among the lesser preferred alcohols were gin at 7 percent, cocktails at 4 percent and brandy at 3 percent.
The most popular drink destination for the tourists for consuming alcohol is restaurants (28 percent), followed by pubs or taverns (19 percent) and beach shacks (17 percent), according to the news report.
The other popular spots in order of popularity are discotheques and karaoke bars (8 per cent each), lounges (6 percent), hotels and upscale bars (3 per cent each), alcohol events/festivals (2 percent) and tasting rooms (1 percent).
Feni not a drink of choice
Feni was given the status of a heritage spirit, bringing it on par with Scotch whisky and tequila in 2016. The State introduced an amendment to the state excise duty law, elevating the otherwise popula, locally brewed cashew-based beverage to the status of a heritage spirit and bringing it on par with Scotch whisky and tequila. Considering the multi-faceted uses of 'Feni' in cultural traditions, cuisines, medicinal purpose, etc; it is synonymous to the Goan identity, government of Goa had decided to separately define 'Feni' and establish its unique and well-deserving status by declaring it as the heritage spirit of Goa. However, it finds favours with less than 3% of the tourists.
Goa Med College Study
Interestingly, a study in 2018 of a medical college found that women consumed more alcohol than men and this was a cause of concern though it was considered stress related to studies and handling the peer pressure.
The study also stated that male students at the Goa Medical College and Hospital, preferred beer and whisky while women preferred wine and other light alcoholic drinks. Among the alcohol consumers, 82.3 percent were light drinkers, while 17.7 percent were identified as heavy drinkers, according to the study published in the Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health.
Bhavna Bahl, promoter of Beleza by the Beach Resort, Colva, says. “Our experience from the F&B outlets at Beleza is similar; Beer is definitely the best-selling alcoholic beverage followed by Whisky and Wine. With the recent launch of many locally-made Gins in the Goan market, we have also noticed a stark upward trend towards Gins. Having said that, being a beach-facing resort located in the heart of South Goa, adorned with two uniquely-designed bars (one offering spectacular views of the paddy fields while the other overlooking the panoramic Arabian Sea) and celebrated mixologists, a majority of the alcohol revenue ensues from of our classic and signature cocktail selections.”
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