Expects 1 mn visitor arrivals during five-day Goa Carnival next month
The Government of Goa will come out with a comprehensive Master Plan and Tourism Policy to take tourism development in the state beyond beaches. The new Master Plan and Tourism Policy for the state will be ready by April, 2013. This was informed by Dilip Parulekar, Minister for Tourism, Government of Goa today in New Delhi while speaking to TravelBiz Monitor on the sidelines of the announcement of the schedule for this year’s Goa Carnival, slated to be held from February 9-13. According to the Minister, the proposed Master Plan will try to address issues related with accommodation, connectivity, etc., in order to stimulate tourism growth. He said that since revenue generation from mining has dwindled due to court orders, tourism is a major focus area for the state government for sustainable development.
He said that the Goa Tourism Department is keen on developing new destinations, including mega theme parks, as part of the Master Plan. He informed that major theme park operators in the region like Disneyland, Sentosa Island Singapore, and Genting Island Malaysia have approached the state government and evinced interest to set up theme parks in the state. When asked about the land, the Minister said that the Department has ample land available for these projects.
As part of promoting Goa beyond the beaches, Goa Tourism Department has decided to celebrate Goa Carnival in a bigger scale this year by adding more features and colours. While the Carnival will officially start on February 9 with a grand opening ceremony and colourful parade at Panaji, and will go on till February 13, a Food and Cultural Festival will run simultaneously from February 8-12 at the NIWS Grounds, Caranzalem, Panaji. There will be live music, bands, fashion shows, etc., throughout the five days with both national and international groups. “Goa Carnival was just an internal Goan festival so far. Now, we want to promote this carnival both domestically and internationally. We are expecting around one million visitors into Goa during these five days of festivities,” said R K Verma, Principal Secretary – Tourism, Government of Goa.
To make the Goa Carnival a crowd puller, Goa Tourism Department has invited Bollywood stars to be part of the opening parade. Dr K Chiranjeevi, Minister of State with Independent Charge for Tourism, Government of India, will inaugurate the Carnival. “Goa Carnival is a one-of-its-kind event in the whole country. We now want to rebrand and reposition the Carnival to promote tourism in the state,” said Nikhil U Desai, Director – Tourism, Government of Goa. “The idea is to create interest around Goan festivals to promote the destination,” he added.