Water tourism projects all at sea
Tourism has been Goa’s main source of income as the mining sector remains closed due to a Supreme Court ban. The tourism sector has always tried to attract high-priced luxury tourists to Goa. For this reason, we have tried to start high-priced marine tourism projects such as marinas, floatels, hot air balloons, yachts, cruise ship tourism, and inland tourism, but they have not grown as much as we had hoped. PRATIK PARAB and KARSTEN MIRANDA find out what went wrong with these projects and where they are today
Income has surged southwards after mining in Goa closed. The Goa government had to continue borrowing and relying on central aid for basic needs.
The situation is that the state’s public debt in the financial year 2021-2022 has reached Rs 2,327.06 crore, which increased by 12% and now accounts for 27% of the gross domestic product (GSDP) of the state.
The Goan government’s best bet to improve income is tourism. It is the backbone of Goa’s economy, on which 40% of the population directly or indirectly depends. The sector has seen strong growth, growing from 2.3 million in 2005 to 7.8 million in 2017, growing at around 11% annually.
Improved tourism also indirectly benefits the state through sales tax and VAT on fuel revenues. The income earned in excise tax on liquor, his VAT on petrol and GST for the period 2021-2022 was Rs 928.9 crore.
Domestic tourists account for nearly 89% of the total tourist arrivals. The peak season of October to December sees almost half of the annual tourist arrivals, putting great stress on Goa’s ecosystem, infrastructure and tourism assets.
As Goa’s tourism industry undergoes a sea change, the department is overwhelmed with the task of reorganizing the operations of various tourism projects taken up during the previous administration.
The Tourism Board has put in place a deterrent to illegal tourism practices, but it also has the daunting task of reviving and launching new tourism avenues to meet the goals set for the decade.
However, the tourism board has always tried to attract high-spending luxury tourists to Goa. Previous attempts have not recovered as well as expected.
According to Tourism Minister Rohan Kante, the operation of these tourism projects was not organized in a way that was expected to go a long way.
“The execution of these services was not done the right way. They had to be organized and that is being done now,” Kante said.
“We have an empowered committee under the Goa Tourism Authority. Anyone who comes to Goa has a proper foothold and is evaluated to make sure they are successful in Goa. It was done,” Kante added.
“Whatever we plan to do, we want to be in good shape for longevity,” he said.
“We are preparing the helipad and will start heli-tourism this month. Rifle shooting will start in Pernem and boats will start in Morjim. Those services will also be launched, with several new services launching later this year.
He said the government has formulated a policy on regulation of water sports in Goa to regulate and monitor water sports activities across the state. There are informed guidelines to ensure the smooth functioning of the queue system administered by the Water Sports Association on the beaches of Goa.
“The tourism board has conducted a surprise check to ensure that operators are complying with water sports policies and queue system guidelines. After the meeting and completion of the formalities, action will be taken against illegal water sports activities in Baina and Bogmalo,” Kante said.
However, there were many problems to start these eye-catching maritime tourism related projects.
The Tourism Board sought to implement a plan to streamline water sports operators on the beach by installing kiosks managed by Goa Electronic Limited (GEL).This also includes
The South Goa Water Sports Operators Association has expressed strong opposition to the way the tourism board is trying to implement a new system for customers on the beach.
Water sports operators wondered why the tourist office only roped GEL on Cavelossim Beach and not on other beaches, why the price list displayed on the GEL kiosk only existed on this beach and not on other beaches. I also question whether or not
They lamented that the fees were much higher compared to those charged by GEL at fixed rates. 1,240 rupees per customer through the system. A water sports operator asked why customers were willing to pay more for the same facility, and when they wanted to lower their prices.
Operators added that customers often want some flexibility in pricing and offer discounted rates, but this is no longer possible with GEL, and they could lose business.
A water sports operator in South Goa has been playing water sports on the beach since the beginning, pointing out that the tourism sector has played no role in investing in infrastructure or supporting local businessmen.
Roy Barrett, Cavelossim’s water sports operator, added that the cue system has been maintained in accordance with court orders and that it is working well.
Domingo Rodriguez, president of their association, agreed, citing examples of how water sports operators are following Corva’s queue system through counters staffed by water sports operators. .
Rodrigues also opposed GEL’s insistence that water sports operators submit GST details, bank accounts, etc.
Water sports operators who said they were paying taxes and wondered how GEL would ask for such details. It added that it had completed the legal process.
Members of the association had also expressed concern over the state government’s plans to hand over water sports operations to corporations.
“There is potential for conflict between the traditional fisherman-run water sports business and newcomers to the business, which could result in a disruption of public peace and communal harmony,” Barrett said. said Mr.
“The original Goans and those living in coastal areas will be displaced. Traditional fishermen and local communities should have the first rights to the beach and coastline,” said a Benaulim water sports operator. Pere Fernandez said.
He also accused Tourism Minister Rohan Kante of failing to persuade water sports operators to stick to their assurances of dispelling their grievances, despite multiple follow-ups with the tourism board. criticized the