Goa cannot survive only on domestic tourism: Shripad – The Navhind Times

Says it is crucial for state economy to bring back high-end tourists as soon as possible

Panaji: Although domestic tourists are strong driver for the tourism in the state, Goa cannot survive only on domestic or local tourism by promoting intrastate travel like several other Indian states, said Shripad Naik, Union Minister of State for Tourism, Ports, Shipping and Waterways, on Friday.

Naik pointed out that it was crucial for Goa’s economy to bring back high-end tourists as soon as possible.

“Due to its limited population and small size, the state cannot survive on local tourism alone,” he said, at the CII-Goa Conference on Nautical Tourism, Dona Paula.

The Union minister disclosed that since Goa opened its borders for tourism in September 2020, the state attracted 3.5 million domestic tourists, thereby driving several tourism businesses towards the path of recovery.

“Tourism and hospitality sectors will need to rebound to the pre-COVID levels and is expected to thrive in the next two-three years. The pandemic has put existing business to the test of time and the new normal has led to emergence of new business models. The type and format of services in the tourism and hospitality industry will change,” said Naik. 

On nautical tourism, he said it was neglected and overlooked segment and “has not taken off as yet.”

The CII conference had a battery of speakers with Ashok Kumar, secretary tourism as the key speaker.

He said the Goa Tourism Board had been notified and it would give equal representation to industry.

“The state is coming out with a jetty policy shortly” said the tourism secretary.

“Santa Monica jetty will be developed through private participation,” he said and added the government would try to come out with a policy to utilize the unused barges for ‘floating tourism.’

Speaker Jayant Singh, chairman-in- charge, Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) highlighted initiatives for development of inland waterways not only for tourism but other related sectors.

He said, “So far, inland waterways have mainly transported freight, however, it can be a credible means of transport for passengers also.

“Lack of coordination between Centre and states is one of the reasons for inland waterways not reaching its potential,” said Singh.

Earlier, during the session, Atul Jadhav, chairman of CII-Goa welcomed the guests and gathering.  

Hemant Arondekar, convenor of CII-Goa panel on tourism, spoke on the issues in nautical tourism.

Vincent Ramos, area director of IHCL- Goa, spoke on nautical tourism as the new lifestyle trend in the industry.  Kirit Maganlal, past chairman, CII-Goa presented the concluding address in the morning session.

Source: Einnews

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