Goa State tourism in turmoil?

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While the first charters are scheduled to arrive in Goa early next week, it appears that international tourists are arriving to much chaos as policies and preparations pertaining to tourism are moving at snail’s pace and key officials transferred or out of station.
There is still much confusion and uncertainty over the shack policy and the allotment process is unlikely to begin even by this weekend.


The water sports policy has not even been finalised and to add to the woes, sudden change of guard with the transfer of secretary tourism Samuel Mathews this week is likely to delay finalisation of various proposals even further.
Coincidently, director of tourism Nikhil Desai is also out of Goa on an official trip to Portugal and while the charge has not been given to anyone, the charge of secretary tourism has been handed over to Secretary R K Varma who is already overloaded with issues pertaining to mining in addition to PWD and other departments.
The new face of beach security through armed IRB has also apparently angered stakeholders in tourism who believe that instead of a sense of security, the armed men would instil fear when the atmosphere at the beach should be one of leisure and relaxation.
Incidentally, there is no activity on the beach belt other than water sports operators, gearing up their equipment for the season at certain locations.
A meeting to finalise the water sports policy is scheduled only on Sunday and will be chaired by chief minister Manohar Parrikar.
Many stakeholders flay the delays in finalising tourism proposals that could result in a late start of business activities for the season.
“We gather that the government was so absorbed with mining that other issues took a back seat,” says Roque Coelho a water sports operator from Baga.
President of the water sports association Paul Silveira said, “We are really in a quandary over the delay in the water sports policy.”
Last year water sports operations began in the first week of October.
“There is a delay this year and we are hoping that the government gives us the green signal at least by the end of the week,” Silveira said.

Courtesy : Herald

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