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With an aim to double the inflow of tourists in the next few years, Goa Tourism is currently formulating a new tourism policy. “We are in the process of drawing the new tourism policy which will include the overall tourism development of Goa and we want to engage with private players to invest and develop infrastructure and tourism further,” Dilip Parulekar, Tourism Minister of Goa, said. The new policy envisages promoting Goa as a round the year destination for wedding, family, leisure and MICE travellers.

Giving details about the development on the infrastructure front, Parulekar said that the Government is developing and introducing new tourism products and investing in infrastructure development such as theme parks, water parks, aquariums and oceanariums through private sector participation. “Apart from beach tourism, we are going to develop new areas including adventure tourism, health tourism, medical and wellness tourism, religious tourism, eco tourism, cultural, hinterland and backwater tourism,” he said, adding that he has has proposed to develop coastal circuits at Colva, Baga, Miramar, Colvale, Vasco, Calangute etc under central financial assistance.

Goa Tourism is also promoting the state as a global MICE destination. Parulekar informed that a convention centre would come up in Fatorda constituency. “We have already initiated procedures for the convention centre which will have a capacity of 10,000-15,000 people. We are also deliberating on a convention centre in or around Mopa for North Goa.”

To further strengthen the MICE and leisure traffic to Goa, Parulekar said, “The government has approved the proposal to set up a golf course at Terekhol village of Pernem taluka. The committee constituted under the Chairmanship of the Former Tourism Minister has accepted the offer of the New Delhi-based Leading Hotels Ltd, to set up a PGA-standard golf course with allied services.” He further added that the group has already prepared a detailed project report and feasibility report, which has been forwarded to the Union Tourism Ministry for examination, under the Large Revenue Generation scheme. However, the state government is also examining offers made by other groups like Gold Resort and Hotels Pvt Ltd, Haryana, Opus Hotel and Resorts Pvt Ltd, Bengaluru and Corporate Club of India, Bengaluru.

Stating that the state budget is around Rs 250 crores, he said the central government has already allocated Rs 150 crores. Parulekar believes that Goa is not lagging behind in availing central financial assistance for promoting tourism. “The state has availed of Rs 52 crores in the form of central assistance for taking up projects for the promotion of tourism in the state and balance Rs 38 crores is expected after completion of the projects”

Meanwhile, the state government has also appointed a consultant for preparing detailed project reports for sustainable development of tourism in the state for getting more central assistance. Parulekar further disclosed that the government has proposed to spend Rs 18.25 crores on media promotion of Goa as a tourist destination. This includes Rs 950 lakhs for domestic media promotion and Rs 875 lakhs for overseas media promotion during this year’s budget. Parulekar further pointed out that the tourism department along, with the travel trade, will continue to participate in domestic as well as overseas events to promote Goa. “We will be organising road shows and launching advertising campaigns in print as well as electronic media soon.”

On air connectivity, he said that the government will continue to create better national and international accessibility, world class infra-structural travel and transport connectivity, telecom, internet and other allied services, in co-ordination with the various agencies involved in the tourism and travel trade to ensure smoother functioning of the industry.

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