This beach-lined former Portuguese colony offers wildlife sanctuaries, and its towns and cities feature a style of colonial architecture unique in India. Unfortunately, Goa's reputation for sun-and-sand hedonism often attracts visitors uninterested in the state's natural and cultural heritage.
Here is a representative sampling of additional anonymous comments from the panelists. They are not necessarily the views of the National Geographic Society:
"Overcrowding, pollution, overbuilding, and drug abuse have destroyed one of the world’s finest stretches of beach."
"Uncontrolled tourism development with no regard for the local culture or environment. The hotels could be anywhere in the world and cater to European charter tourism focused on cheap, all-inclusive resorts."
"Unplanned development leaves the area with severe problems from lack of sanitation, pollution of waterways, and erosion. This is regrettable because state of Goa features outstanding natural and cultural heritage. Many of the historic structures are giving way to faceless modern architecture."
"Outside of the main tourist areas the environment is still pristine but is being bought up by developers intent on building unsustainable resorts. There are many foreign-run businesses. There is little encouragement for locals to protect environment and culture."
2014 Traveler Photo Contest
See all the winning images from the 2014 Traveler Photo Contest.