Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Teens binge drink at Christmas

December 23 -29, 2013

Team GS

Alcohol consumption among teenagers between the ages of 14 to 19, triples during Christmas and New Year’s Eve, especially in cities like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Goa, Bangalore, Chandigarh, says the ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF).  The survey conducted on more than 1,500 teenagers (14 to 19 years) and 1,000  in the age group 20 to 29, revealed this shocking detail: a quarter of respondents reported blowing up between Rs. 1,000 and Rs. 10,000 only on alcohol during Christmas and New Year’s eve celebrations.  One-third of Delhiites consume alcohol three times a week during the festive season, the survey found.

The major cities in which respondents were interviewed include Mumbai, Goa, Cochin, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Kolkata, Delhi-NCR, Chandigarh and Dehra Dun and interestingly it was observed that consumption of liquor is more in vogue in Delhi-NCR, followed by Mumbai, Goa, Chandigarh and Bangalore.  “Peer pressure, plenty of pocket money and absentee parents mean the drinking age is dropping in metros.  There has been a marked increase in alcohol consumption among teenagers and it is strongly influenced by males in the family”. 

With Christmas parties, end of year celebrations and upcoming new year parties, alcohol consumption is likely to increase more than 180 per cent this season as against 105 per cent the previous year.  Children as young as 13 have tried Bacardi Breezers or vodkas at stay-over nights with their friends.  While responding, 52 percent teenagers said that having one drink at parties is something everyone does, for 72 percent being "cool" meant having three to four drinks.  Drinking seems to be quite the normal thing among the 13-18 age group in the metropolitan cities, according to the survey.

Shocking stats

More than 52 per cent of teens who admitted drinking said they drink when they are upset; 8 per cent said they drink alone; 2 per cent said they drink when they are bored; and 47 per cent said they drink to "get high".  Fruit-flavored alcoholic beverages are particularly appealing to girls who often do not like the taste of alcohol.  It gets worse.  Have tried alcohol: 65 per cent; have not tried alcohol: 20 per cent; have drunk fruit-flavoured alcoholic beverages: 45 per cent.

Trendy; creative ways of sneaking in alcohol

Cafes and fast-food restaurants serve beer.  Pubs and bars declare early evenings as a cheaper Happy Hour.  There's also the hookah lounge in metros where the flavoured hookah often has alcohol as the base, especially vodka or wine.

SIkkim, enters the carnival route

Sikkim spent around Rs. 1,00,00,000  to organise a winter carnival to mark Christmas.  This year, the focus of the winter carnival will be on promoting traditional culture, cuisine and organic products.  In recent times, the state - India's smallest - with a population of just over 500,000 people, has been seeing a sharp rise in tourist inflow. The state government estimated that about a million tourists were expected to visit Sikkim during 2013, an increase from 7,00,000 last year.  The state government is also trying to attract tourists through other activities such as adventure sports, traditional handicrafts, horticulture, floriculture and organic products.

Currently, domestic tourists from West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra have been flocking to the hill state, while international tourists have been arriving from Japan, Europe and England.

South Asia's biggest travel and tourism event

The 21st edition of SATTE, South Asia’s leading travel and tourism event is scheduled to be held in Delhi from January 29-31, 2014.  Over the past two decades the event has promoted India’s tourism, providing a platform for buyers and sellers from across the world to come and experience Indian culture.  SATTE 2014 will be spread over 17,500 sq m and is expected to get visitors from USA, UAE, Australia, Argentina, Canada, Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, United Kingdom, China, Israel, Philippines, Mexico, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Singapore, among others.