By Sanjay Borkar
Famous worldwide as a tourist hotspot, Goa has in the last 100 days of government formation taken several steps to make Goa the tourism capital of the country.
From developing an App for the safety of tourists to the concept of a “multilingual tourist call centre”, the tourism department is mulling many ideas to attract domestic and foreign tourists.
More than eight million tourists visit Goa every year. Most of them prefer 'sun, sand and sea' (beaches) to have a memorable time. But now, the Goa government is also focusing on hinterland tourism and has started “Monsoon Trekking”.
Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte has said that ease of doing business is needed to achieve the goal.
"Online Tourism Registration Services launched recently will help businessmen in this area to get approvals easily and thus they will be able to start their activities early," he said.
To facilitate tourists visiting the coastal state, the tourism department has decided to start a “multilingual tourist call centre”.
Sources said that administrative approval for this has been granted.
Tourism stakeholders say that this call centre will help tourists to know the best things of Goa and get tourism related information.
Goa is famous for its beaches, churches, temples, heritage sites and its hospitality. The call centre will be a catalyst to take ahead the concept of “Atithi Devo Bhava” (Guest is equivalent to God).
"Goa Tourism has been witnessing a steady growth in tourist arrivals especially after three waves of Covid. In 2022 (from March 2022 to May 2022) 1940683 domestic tourists and 33841 foreign tourists visited Goa," Khaunte said.
It has launched online services for stakeholders. Under this service every person connected to the tourism industry like hotel owners, travel agents, tour operators, motor boat, launch and water sports operators, dealers in handicrafts, tourist guides, photographers, government shacks, owners of private shacks and private huts etc. can easily register their activities with the Department of Tourism.
The tourism department has developed a Mobile App for reporting the status of beach cleaning activities on a day to day basis.
This was launched on May 2. Besides, the App facilitates reporting of illegal activities like illegal deck beds, tables, umbrellas, touting, movement of hawkers, etc. in the beach area to enable the departmental enforcement unit to initiate the necessary action.
The App is in use and the department is receiving complaints which are redressed by the Flying Squad.
Khaunte informed that a permanent immersive exhibition and audio guide created with a combination of physical scenography and spatial audio integrated with mixed media storytelling with 3D animation and visual effects will be set up at Fort Aguada Jail Museum.
He said that an integrated beach management policy is being finalized which will be launched this year along with an integrated beach management tender for cleaning, safety and related services at all beaches.