Goa tourism predominantly dependent on UK, Russia

by IANS |

Panaji, July 21 (IANS) Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte said that the coastal state's tourism is predominantly dependent on the UK and Russia, and some parts of Europe. "Government is taking all steps to get a good footfall with good spending," he said on Wednesday.

Khaunte, during the ongoing session of the state Assembly, said that in 2019, about 71.27 lakh domestic tourists arrived in Goa, while 9.31 lakh foreign tourists visited the state. But this number dropped in 2020 and 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. "The number came down to mere 3 lakh domestic tourists and 32,000 foreign tourists," he added.

"We need to recreate the whole system. Mining sector was contributing 17 per cent to GDP of the state and Tourism was at 12 per cent. After the mining suspension, we realised that we need to create a strong backbone for tourism, if we need to run the economy of the state rightly. Today's contribution of Tourism sector to the GDP is 16.43 per cent," the minister said.

He said that everyone looks at Goa with a concept of 'Sun, Sand and Sea'. "Goa is always looked at as beach destination. Looking at the listing of Center of Pacific Aviation, it is evident that we are competing today. We call ourselves one of the preferred destinations in the world, yes we are. But do we have the right quality or do we have quantity," he asserted.

Khaunte said that to give good quality to the tourist visiting state there is need to address all the illegalities taking place on the beaches. "Be it touts, illegal hawkers or beggars, we need to address these issues and give safe and clean beaches," Khaunte noted.

The Goa government is trying to give a safe environment to tourists visiting the coastal state by eradicating the menace of touts and the illegal activities taking place on seashores, he said, adding that several measures including beach Vigil App and integrated beach management policy are being adopted.

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