Life’s no longer a beach for Goa tourism

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Faced with competition from South Asian countries, Goa now wants to create entertainment hubs, recreational facilities and improve infrastructure to make sure tourists don’t come only for its idyllic beaches.

India’s most popular tourist destination these days is pitted against Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Sri Lanka, which are preferred destinations for many international tourists. With competition getting fierce, Goa is now looking for private players to develop projects on a public-private partnership (PPP) model.

“We need to create better facilities and provide more than just beaches for tourists. If anybody has an idea, then I invite them to come and talk to the government. We are keen to develop such facilities,” said minister for tourism Francisco Xavier Pacheco. This includes a proposal to set up amusement parks, a golf course and even promote medical tourism, all of which attract a holidaymaker to come again to Goa.

Often referred to as a tourist paradise, Goa is surely the most preferred destination for holidaymakers. Though some 25,69,000 tourists visited the state in 2006-07, the fact remains that annual growth rate of the tourists flocking state has fallen drastically. A 3% growth rate in 2006-07 is in stark contrast to the average 25% in 1999-2000. Experts think the situation is alarming and indicate a lack of interest among travellers. The number of tourists visiting the state is further likely to fall by 20% in the forthcoming season — beginning October — due to a recession that has affected the tourism industry the world over.

According to tour operators, rising room rates, unavailability of good hotels and lack of basic infrastructure like good roads along the state’s coastal belt is driving away tourists. Says Ralph D’Souza, chairman, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa : “Goa became popular as a ‘value for money’ destination. But now our room rates are at least 30% higher than places like Thailand and Indonesia. It is 10% more expensive than even Malaysia. This is taking away customers.

” The cost of a small hotel room ranges from Rs 3, 500-7,000 per day; rooms at a five-star resort start at Rs 15,000. The state economic survey stresses the need to supplement beach tourism with other recreational facilities. “If immediate measures are not taken, Goa will soon lose its sheen,” the industry fears.

One Comment

  1. Goa, a tiny emerald land on the west coast of India, a magnificent place for tourism in india, a place of sun sand and sea, squeezed between the seas and the lush forested hills. Goa tourism offers glistening sands, swaying coconut palms, and ultra fresh seafood. With its natural scenic beauty, abundant greenery, attractive beaches and temples, churches & even mosques with a distinctive style of architecture, colorful and lively feasts, festivals & above all, hospitable people with a rich cultural milieu, has an ideal tourist profile.

    Tourism in Goa is an opportunity to see the magnificent beauty of nature in a completely new way and to explore a new and highly interesting culture.

    Variously known as “ Rome of the East “, “ Tourist Paradise “ and “ Pearl of the Orient “, the state of Goa is one of the premier locations for tourism and is located on the western coast of India in the coastal belt known as Konkan. Tourism in Goa is famous for some special reasons – The magnificent scenic beauty and the architectural splendours of its temples, churches and old houses have made tourism in Goa a firm favourite with travellers around the world. But then, Goa is much more than just beaches and sea. It has a soul which goes deep into unique history, rich culture and some of the prettiest natural scenery that India has to offer. The vast green expanse of the Sahyadri mountain range ensures that Goa has an abundance of water. The sea and rivers abound in seafood – prawns, mackerels, sardines, crabs and lobsters are the most popular with the locals and the visitors. Tourism in Goa is an excellent opportunity which must be completely devoured.

    1. Aman on September 6th, 2008 at 7:38 pm

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