Tuesday 26 Sep 2023

In long weekend brouhaha, tourists being offered 'quiet' Goa options



Away from the beaten path of beaches, nightclubs and crowded holidays tourists are now being offered quieter fare and options -- private dining in heritage homes, cycling adventures through scenic islands like Divar, kayaking along inland rivers, trekking among others.

Media reports are suggesting hotels, mostly in commonly frequented beach side locales, have touched 100 per cent occupancy. Most roads leading to these hotspots have also been choc-o-block with traffic since Friday last but not all tourists are headed to the beaches.

Hospitality industry sources said, history buffs are queuing up for off-the-beaten-path activity such as history buffs travelling to the interiors for a glimpse of pre-historic rock carvings at Pansaimol.

The rock art was discovered accidentally by famed archaeologist P P Shirodkar in the 1990s in the village of Pansaimol. Over a 100 rock engravings at the site are said to depict the Mesolithic period way of life. 

Another activity that is gaining popularity among tourists is guided cycling tours at scenic country-sides in the State such as the picturesque island of Divar on 15-20-kilometre trails.

Kayaking trips along inland rivers of Goa is another activity that tourists who prefer to avoid crowds, are opting for. The organisations that offer kayaking trips also include instruction sessions for beginners.

Monsoon trekking expeditions through wildlife sanctuaries and other better known trekking sites is another big draw. 

With waterfalls across the hinterland, the tourists are also rushing to these refreshing sites. 

These are being widely advertised and bookings sought online but the eco-tour agencies are refusing to disclose locations unless you book out of fear people will throng these unspoilt locales and sully their charm, the hospitality entrepreneur said. The day-long packages include meals and refreshments and cost between Rs 2,500-3,000. 

Latest on the block of new to-do lists for tourists keen on quieter stays are 'Heritage Home Concerts' of local Goan music and dance sharply contrasting the DJ choreographed fare at crowded hot spots.

Well known musician Omar De Loiola Pereira and Schubert Fernandes who founded the 'Sounds of Goa Heritage Home Concerts' during the pandemic are now taking their project to the next level organising concerts at exquisite heritage mansions across Goa.

These Heritage Home Concerts offer glimpses of traditional Goan music forms including Mando, Fado, Dekhni and covers of pop songs with a guided tour of the heritage home and food thrown in. 

The consistent hard selling by the tourism department and the government of cultural tourism beyond Goa's beaches is finally yielding results, perhaps.

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