Eco-friendly operations to start in Goa, under the banner of Tourism Policy 2020

The new policy also suggests that the entire inland waterway network, should be explored with an emphasis on eco-friendly operations for hinterland exploration.

The government of Goa on Wednesday, approved the long-awaited Goa Tourism Policy 2020 which portrays a vivid vision to make the state the "most preferred destination around the year for high-spending tourists" in 2024. The policy talks about 25 years of tourism, inclusive of a new Tourism Board which would be the major pillar for all decisions to be undertaken towards the planning, development and marketing of Goa tourism. The state tourism policy calls for the curation of high-quality infrastructure and facilities that would attract tourists to Goa's hinterland.

Conservation, Regeneration and Promotion of Goan culture

The masterplan of the policy states that ecologically sustainable and environmentally sound practices will be put in to action for a nature-based tourism development. It also mentions the curation of nature clusters, inclusive of key natural or cultural assets, which are to be set up in the state's ecologically sensitive areas. This is being done in order to lure the tourists in and to make them stay longer than their planned visit. The tourism board would now be captained by the tourism minister and several tourism committees will be dissolved.

Speaking on the policy, the Tourism Director of Goa said, "Now we can say we have a vision for tourism. Short term and medium targets have been defined, which allows for creation of infrastructure within proper timelines. Tourism contribution to GDP is 40% and we want to ensure the employment opportunities are not limited to coastal belts."

The new policy also suggests that the entire inland waterway network, should be explored with an emphasis on eco-friendly operations for hinterland exploration. The policy states, "Conservation, regeneration and promotion of Goan culture and heritage is one of the key initiatives. Goa tourism board would identify essential infrastructure and public amenity requirements for identified tourism assets of historical and cultural importance."

The State Tourism Minister also stated, "We want good tourists to arrive here. We should not be looked upon as a drug destination. Our attempt is to make Goa a drug-free state," he said. Under the new policy, tourists who arrive in groups and cook in the open spaces would be penalized." He further added that the required infrastructure would be developed on Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode to develop tourism in the state.

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