CM targets 6 M tourists, tourism beyond pubs

PTI, PANAJI | 30 June 2012 18:16 IST

Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar on Saturday said the state wants to increase its tourism inflow from existing 2.6 to 6 million in the next five years by projecting it as a destination which has more than just 'beaches and pubs'.

"We have an average 2.6 million tourists visiting Goa annually. We are now planning to take the figure to 6 million in next five years," Parrikar told businessmen and economists at Goa Investment Forum 2012 held in Panaji.

The chief minister said the state will create entertainment facilities and fix its infrastructure in the tourist belt so that more numbers can be accommodated.

Parrikar interacted with more than 50 chief executive officers of top companies during the forum organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).

"We need to look at more than beaches and pubs. Today guests visiting Goa have only two entertainments — beaches and pubs. We have to create more alternatives for them once they arrive here," the chief minister said.

To have more alternatives, we need more investment coming in the state, he said adding the state government will help the investors.

The delivery is one aspect that I can assure you, he said inviting the investment.

Goa Investment Forum 2012 was held for the first time in the state today which is looking at investment in Information Technology, IT enabled services, Pharmaceuticals, Bio technology, light engineering, entertainment and tourism.

State Tourism director Swapnil Naik told reporters at the sidelines of the forum that state is in the process of fixing the infrastructure.

We want to give more facilities to guests. The infrastructure needs to be improved, entertainment facilities should be set up, he added.

Naik said in the next five years, its possible to achieve the number of six million tourist-mark.

The tourism department has claimed that the state has enough bed capacity to accommodate six million visitors.

"There is a scarcity during peak season but if tourists are evenly distributed then we have enough rooms," Naik claimed.

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Well though investment in infrastructure and diversification of the tourism product on offer is needed without any doubt, the growth in tourism needs to take into consideration the carrying capacity of Goa that is definitely more than just bed capacity. We are presently not able to tackle the garbage menace as it exists and the our resources are overburdened and crumbling. Why not concentrate on increasing revenues from tourism from the present inflow by targetting high spending tourists rather than aim at increasing numbers to earn more? How do we ensure that the revenues generated are spread more evenly in the different talukas and how do we ensure greater employment opportunities for our people needs equal attention.

- Anita Haladi, Caranzalem | 30 th June 2012 20:25

 

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