GF demands data of Goans employed in cruise industry
Goa Forward party president Vijai Sardesai on Sunday dashed off a letter to Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte, raising as many as 10 questions, seeking answers to unanswered questions on the new Jetty Policy 2022.
Sardesai has demanded to know how many Goans are employed at present in the local Goan cruise industry, and also, the percentage of Goan workers compared to non-Goans.
He has sought to know the number of jobs the jetty policy will create in Goa, in the short term, medium term, and long term, with a further question why are there no criteria in the policy that mandate preference for Goans for jobs at the jetties or cruise boats.
The Tourism Minister was further questioned why are there no criteria in the policy that mandate preference for Goans to obtain licenses for cruise boats and jetty operation contracts and the projected revenue to local village panchayats if jetties and cruise boat operations commence in the villages.
Seeking to know the impact of jetties and cruise boat tourism on local villages in terms of traffic, parking, law and order, etc, Sardesai has sought to know the measures the policy has suggested to mitigate these issues which plague Panaji today. What will be its social impact?
Demanding to know why are local stakeholders like fishing communities and local panchayats left out of the jetty policy, Sardesai has sought to know why is GEL getting 2% of every ticket sold and the wisdom behind barring intermediaries such as hotels, OTAs, booking portals, travel agencies, etc from purchasing cruise tickets in bulk, at discounted prices.
Once a cruise terminal comes into existence, how long will it take for off-shore casinos to mushroom in the other rivers across Goa, he questioned.
He said the Goa Forward’s stated demand is to accord cruise tourism the significance it deserves and reorganise Mormugao Port as a cruise ship terminal instead of a coal terminal.
“I am happy to see that a new Jetty policy for Goa has been conceived, drafted, and offered to the public for suggestions and objections. We welcome the importance in which it has been taken up, and as we have always maintained, the development of inland waterways will not only boost tourism but also, as the eminent Goemkar Charles Correa had rightly pointed out, it will ease the congestion that we face on the roads. Going through this new policy, while agreeing with its intent in principle, I feel some issues need more clarity and examination,” he added.