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Tourism corp scraps plan to purchase cruise boat

Tourism corp scraps plan to purchase cruise boat

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12 Sep 2018 No comment 14 hits

PANAJI: Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has scrapped its plan to purchase one more cruise vessel to conduct boat rides for tourists.
GTDC chairman Nilesh Cabral said the move, which was planned two years ago, had to be scrapped as the department is unable to make the necessary investment of nearly Rs 15 crore.

“We will add a vessel on a bare-boat basis. A tender will be floated shortly,” Cabral said. GTDC owns and operates two cruise vessels — Santa Monica and Shantadurga. These, along with the other private cruise vessels, conduct rides for tourists along the river Mandovi. Cabral further said that the Shantadurga cruise vessel, which is old, will be discarded. The staff currently attached to this vessel will be accommodated on the new vessel to be chartered and operated by GTDC. Other staff, if required, will be hired on a contract basis, he said.

Cabral said that the rise in salaries, under the recommendation of the 7th pay commission recommendation, have proved to be challenge. “A sailor’s salary has gone up to Rs 1 lakh. With GTDC offering a host of other tourist activities, how can we afford to pay such high salaries?” he said. Incidentally, GTDC is one of three corporations that have received a go-ahead by the state government to implement the recommendations of the 7th pay commission for its employees.

Cruise boats witness high footfalls during weekends, long weekend breaks and once the tourism season commences. A cruise boat trip is a must do for most domestic tourists, especially those visiting the state for the first time. However, the services as well as the entertainment offered by most cruise boats leave much to be desired.

“After few Konkani songs and traditional folk-dance performances, all that is offered is loud Hindi music,” said a GTDC official. The cruise boat staff, however, defend this trend saying that popular Bollywood music is highly in demand, leaving them with no option other than to comply. “Our business will suffer if we stop playing the kind of songs they want or bar them from dancing on the deck,” he said.

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Source: Tourism corp scraps plan to purchase cruise boat

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