Goa ports Minister Michael Lobo on Saturday blamed the rise in the price of onions as the reason for the decline in tourists visit in the state.

“The tourist arrival in Goa is less this year. Indian tourists ask for onions and chillies (along with meals). Due to rising onion prices, they are being served cabbage and chillies,” Lobo told reporters.

Lobo is a BJP legislator from the Calangute Assembly constituency. Calangute is one of the prime beaches in Goa apart from Baga and Candolim.

Michael Lobo also owns a chain of restaurants, lounge bars, and hotels in Goa.

Over the last few weeks, the onion prices shot up in Goa too. On Friday it was touching Rs 170 per kg in the retail markets.

Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant intervened and provided subsidy to wholesalers to ensure relatively cheaper onion supply to the government operated corporations dealing in the rationed vegetable sale.

The Goa tourism industry has witnessed a dip in the tourists visit in the state. It had blamed multiple factors including the collapse of UK based charter tourism operator Thomas Cook as well as poor infrastructure in the state.

Last year, Goa attracted nearly seven million tourists including half a million foreigners.