The state government’s focus is to promote Goa for its hinterland, religious, eco, wellness, mice and sports tourism besides beach tourism, stated Chief Minister Pramod Sawant while speaking on the occasion of World Tourism Day 2021 programme organised by the Department of Tourism in association with Goa Tourism Development Corporation, India Tourism, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa at Taj Resorts and Convention Centre, Dona Paula on Monday.
Sawant said that the entire industry has been going through a hard time during the last 18 months. Though resilience has been shown by the industry during the last season, the second wave of Covid brought the situation back to square one. However, the prospects are looking bright now, the Chief Minister added.
Chief Minister said that last week, Prime Minister Narendra Modi while speaking to the health workers and beneficiaries of Goa was all praise for the efforts of the State in achieving this feat. Prime Minister also highlighted how Goa is seen as a Brand world over.
The Prime Minister had announced that foreign tourists will allowed soon in Goa and the issue is been taken up been personally with Union Home Minister and Union Tourism Minister. Speaking further, Chief Minister said his Government is committed to start Mopa International Airport from August 15, 2022 so that international tourists can take off without any restrictions of timings for charters or international schedule flights.
Chief Minister thanked all the stake holders in the tourism industry for coming forward and helping the migrant people and their own staff by providing ration, transport and medical equipments during the pandemic. Many of the hotels have allowed their guests to stay in their hotel free of cost during pandemic time and added that I have received appreciation letters from the Foreign Embassies in this regard. All such gestures will elevate Goa’s image Goa among the domestic and international travellers. Considering the hardships, the industry is going through this year my Government has given a concession of 50% waiver in the license fees for shacks the Chief Minister added.
The Chief Minister also announced that Government will be granting a concession of 50% in registration/renewal fees for this financial year for Category C and D hotels as a majority of them are yet to resume operations. The suggestions received from the industry have been duly considered and accordingly the composition of Goa Tourism Board has been modified and will be modified soon, he informed.
Deputy Chief Minister and Tourism Minister Manohar alias Babu Azgaonkar speaking on the occasion said Goa State is dependent on Tourism Industry. Government is trying to give name and fame to Goa. We are trying to take tourism industry in new direction. He said, only because of our marketing and promotional events we gets the good response from the national and international level tourists.
The deputy Chief Minister said Goan beaches are world famous, we must keep them clean. In this direction, he said, we have taken care in all respect in tourism sector. “It is our bounden duty to see that the tourists visiting the State are safe. We want tourist that preserves the culture of Goa and appealed to the tourists to enjoy the culture of Goa”.
Dayanand Sopte, Chairman of GTDC, Secretary of Tourism J Ashok Kumar, IAS, GCCI President Ralph De Souza also spoke on the occasion.
Earlier Nilesh Shah, President TTAG welcomed while Ernest Dias, President SKAL proposed a vote of thanks.