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GOA TOURISM ESTABLISH GAME PLAN TO IMPROVE TOURIST ARRIVALS IN THE STATE

Goa has been developing its infrastructure to introduce new services for tourists. This year, Goa has considerably increased the outlay for the tourism department. For 2015-16, the tourism department has been allocate Rs 260.09 crore against Rs 140.94 crore in 2014-15. Therefore, it is now in the process of establishing a three-pronged strategy to boost arrivals in the state, said Director of Goa Tourism, Ameya Abhyankar.

While elaborating on the three-pronged strategy, he added, “We are launching three initiatives in the next eight months. Firstly, we are looking at replacing the Tourism Act of 1982. This will be a forward looking act that will focus on facilitating business and offer single window for most clearances in tourism projects. The new act will encourage tourism entrepreneurs to pass on the benefits they receive to the tourists.”

The government, he informed, is also working to simplify the licensing regime associated with organizing such events, and for which a new law is to be tabled in the coming financial year. “We are coming up with an Event Management Act.”

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Abhyankar further added, “Goa Tourism is also working on an integrated beach management system. This has not become definite yet but within four years, we are contemplating ISO certification for at least four beaches and white flag for at least one beach in Goa.”

Along with these strategies the tourism department is also introducing facilities like seaplanes, heli-tourism and amphibious buses which are expected to increase tourist inflow into the state by over 14%, according to Dilip Parulekar, Goa Tourism Minister. He was on the sidelines of the first ever trial landing of a seaplane in the Mandovi river off Panaji. “It is a novel concept in India, which combines convenience of travel with excitement of water takeoffs and landings. There is no investment by the state government for this service; it will be owned and operated by Maritime Energy Heli Air Services Pvt. Ltd. (MEHAIR). We are only providing them support to facilitate smooth operations,” Parulekar said.

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