An enthusiastic traveller and qualified accountant, she quit her job in the UK and relocated to Goa to give tourist the opportunity to explore cultural Goa.
Maria Victor born and raised in Goa, is the founder of ‘Make It Happen’. As a proficient travel designer she curates cultural themed tours across India. This has enabled several tourists to obtain an ethnic perspective about a locality. Her work has caught the interest of renowned historians, artists and professors who are now in collaboration to develop and sustain these cultural experiences.
She set her eye on Goa as it is a popular tourist destination receiving over five million tourists every year. Detesting the fact that tourism today revolves around beaches and missing out on the rich cultural heritage of the state she works with communities to develop sustainable tourism and authentic travel experiences. To showcase the ethnicity and diversity of a destination, she organises short cultural themed walks and day tours wherein tourist engage in traditional occupations, local cuisine, age old customs, art, rich historical background and the festive celebrations of Goa.
- Engaging with local communities and connecting with them in a way that creates lasting memories for travellers
- Offering local communities better opportunities through tourism by showcasing local artisans and craftsmen, thus preserving dying customs and traditions.
- Focussing on unique and traditional art forms, heritage, customs and a ‘different way of living’.
- Creating awareness via holidays designed to benefit the tourist and the community
Thematic tours have been popular among foreign tourist. There is also a growing interest among the domestic tourist. One can avail the walking tours and day tours which include Divar Island Tour, Fontainhas Heritage Walk and Old Goa Heritage Walk.
A great example is the promotion and preservation of Kavi art which is a dying tradition typically found in coastal Karnataka and Goa. Also, encouraging guests to shop locally, helps inject money into the local economy.
When asked about expanding, she replied saying that the company receives an overwhelming response of 150 traveller bookings over a period of four months which is promising for a growth in her business.
“We expect to launch 10 cultural tours in Goa by Oct 2016 and have been growing organically. In the last financial year we operated 50 culturally themed round trip tours for over 450 customers,” said Maria.
Most likely within the next five years Goa may see a growing trend in thematic tours.