From monsoon treks to security apps, Goa is giving tourism a boost

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By Sanjay Borkar

Panaji, July 10 (IANS): 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 the development of an application for tourist safety to the concept of a “multilingual tourist call center”, the tourism department is considering 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 government of Goa is also focusing on hinterland tourism and has launched “Monsoon Trekking”.

Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte said ease of doing business was needed to achieve the target.

“The recently launched online tourist registration services will help businessmen in this region easily obtain approvals and thus be able to start their businesses earlier,” he said.

To make it easier for tourists to visit the coastal state, the tourism department has decided to set up a “multilingual tourist call center”.

Sources said administrative approval for this has been granted.

Tourism stakeholders claim that this call center will help tourists to know the best things about Goa and get tourism-related information.

Goa is famous for its beaches, churches, temples, heritage sites and hospitality. The call center will be a catalyst to advance the concept of ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ (guest is equivalent to God).

“Goa Tourism has seen steady growth in tourist arrivals, especially after three waves of Covid. In 2022 (March 2022 to May 2022), 1940,683 domestic tourists and 33,841 foreign tourists visited Goa,” Khaunte said.

It launched online services for stakeholders. Under this service, anyone connected with the tourism industry such as hotel owners, travel agents, tour operators, motor boat, launch and water sports operators, handicraft merchants , tour guides, photographers, government huts, owners of private huts and private huts, etc. can easily register their activities with the Ministry of Tourism.

The tourism department has developed a mobile application to report the day-to-day status of beach cleaning activities. This was launched on May 2, 2022. Also, the app makes it easy to report illegal activities such as illegal deck beds, tables, umbrellas, vending, hawker movement, etc. in the beach area to allow the departmental law enforcement unit to initiate the necessary action.

The app is used and the department receives complaints which are handled by the Flying Squad.

Khaunte informed that a permanent immersive exhibit 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 the Fort Aguada Jail Museum.

He said an integrated beach management policy is being finalized and will be launched this year with an integrated beach management tender for cleaning, security and related services at all beaches.

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