Claiming to vary the axis of Goa tourism, All India Trinamool Congress in its 10-point manifesto has additionally included a grant of as much as INR 25 lakh in funds for the preservation of heritage websites alongside built-in vacationer facilities, cellular apps, and 24×7 Police patrol and assist desks to assist vacationers. Addressing a public assembly in Sanvordem, Union Home Minister, Amit Shahwent on to say, “Only BJP’s double engine government under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi and Goa CM Pramod Sawant can work for the development, create employment, promote the tourism industry and fulfill the aspirations of the people of Goa.”
At a virtual rally in Goa, Congress’ Rahul Gandhi remarked, “Goa is the hub of tourism. Thousands of people get income from this. Now, it will either become a tourist hub or a coal hub. If it becomes a coal hub, then tourism cannot run. We will not allow Goa to become a coal hub.”
Political parties are serious about setting up a government in the state do understand the importance of tourism and how it is an integral part of the Goan economy and contributes greatly to it. However, like everywhere around the world, the tourism economy in Goa has been heavily hit by the various measures introduced to contain the spread of Covid-19 and its various variants. While tourism stakeholders have sought immediate support measures they are also relying on the government to help develop recovery measures.
Nilesh Shah, President, Travel & Tourism Association of Goa, says, “The present government has been interacting with the industry and has helped us out for certain things.” While enumerating the various initiatives that the state government has worked on, Shah says that while work has been done on various fronts to help revive the tourism sector, more needs to be done, one of which includes transparency and involvement of the tourism industry while making decisions.
He adds, “In December, we got the Cabinet nod to form the Goa Tourism Board, wherein there will be equal representation from the industry and the government. With this there will be more transparency in decision making as far as marketing is concerned, helping us to decide which type of projects are required for Goa and how to go forward with those.”
Talking about what the Goa tourism trade wants from the brand new authorities, Shah says there must be transparency in all respects so far as tourism and its advertising and marketing is anxious. The authorities ought to contain the trade stakeholders in deciding which markets to handle and the place to take part.
He provides, “Also, instead of taking up new projects, priority should be given to the completion of the projects that are underway. Projects like the construction of Mopa Airport in North Goa, the convention center should be completed on time. There are also some monuments which require the government’s urgent attention, these need to be completed on priority before the start of any new initiative.”
Lastly, Shah factors out the taxi meter row that has been grabbing headlines for a while now. “Another major thing which the Goa tourism industry has been rallying for is the implementation of taxi meters. While the High Court’s direction was to install meters and the government had also directed the same, there was a lot of reluctance on the part of the taxi drivers. Even though around 8000 taxis have installed these meters, everyone needs to accept the High Court ruling and get these installed, this should be implemented in spirit and not only on paper and the government should make sure that this is done.”
Shah says that is vital as a result of as locations begin opening up, connectivity might be an important issue to woo extra vacationers to the seashore vacation spot. And if taxi fares are priced in a good method that will go a great distance into selling tourism in Goa.