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With no plan in place tourism sector far from optimistic

With no plan in place tourism sector far from optimistic

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13 Mar 2018 No comment 2 hits

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Panaji: There were not many grandiose announcements for the tourism sector when chief minister Manohar Parrikar presented his 2017-18 budget.

Industry insiders say they don’t see major changes coming through this financial year. “We pinned our hopes on Parrikar after he came back from Delhi. Perhaps, he was bound by coalition politics,” a tourism stakeholder said.

The biggest disappointment, however, has been the delay in finalizing the tourism masterplan.

“The timeframe for drawing up a tourism masterplan was 36 weeks. I don’t know how much more time the tourism master planner needs to get the vision document ready,” a tourism stakeholder said.

But tourism minister Manohar ‘Babu’ Azgaonkar has said there has been no delay. “In fact, several modules of the plan are completed and the policy is being finalized, considering all the views obtained from various stakeholders,” Azgaonkar said.

The only solace is that Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) finally managed to set up toilet blocks along beaches though the work is far from over. On a plus note, Goa Tourism received Rs 100 crore from the Union tourism ministry under the Swadesh Darshan scheme.

A beach shack operator said that while beach shack allotment was done well before time, the government failed to rein in shack operators indulging in illegalities.

At a press conference last month Parrikar admitted that beach shack policy is violated by some operators.

“I have time and again made it clear that violations of the beach shack policy will not be tolerated. Since I took over the tourism portfolio, I have ensured that shack operators get their licences on time and that their business begin in time for the season unlike previous years,” Azgaonkar said.

The biggest grouse, tourism stakeholders say, is the government’s failure to strengthen public transport so that the industry is not brought to its knees when tourist taxi operators resort to strikes. “If Travel and Tourism Association (TTAG) were not to approach the high court, the government would not have taken any initiative to implement digital meters,” he added.


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Source: With no plan in place tourism sector far from optimistic

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