Following a record 2013 for visitors to its breathtakingly beautiful shores, India’s holiday paradise is gearing up to welcome even more holiday makers this year – and plans to make their visits even more enjoyable, thanks to a new range of initiatives.
India’s smallest – and richest – state, Goa is one of those destinations visitors fall in love with and then keep going back to. Now its tourist and government authorities say it plans to build and develop a new breed of world-class tourist infrastructures and resorts, with work set to begin on a new airport terminal later this year to accommodate more arrivals.
New plans include enhanced safety measures for tourists, a special beach cleaning initiative – the goal being for Goa to be able to boast the cleanest beaches in south-east Asia soon – and the tourist board is also encouraging visitors to explore Goa as destination which offers much more than just the sand, sea and beach paradise it is famed for. There is also talk of introducing women taxi drivers, too – a first for the region.
Shri Dilip Parulekar, minister for tourism of Goa, said: “This is a great way to begin the New Year for us. We are more than thrilled to announce these figures and this only proves that Goa continues to be the destination of choice for people from all across the world.
“At the same time, these numbers also serve as a reminder for us to constantly strive and keep the infrastructure and other developments in the state on par with international standards so that Goa can turn into the number one destination of choice for travellers.
“Goa Tourism has planned several campaigns and programmes to ensure safety of tourists, a clean state, introduce women taxi drivers that are in tune with our vision.”
A beach-cleaning programme will be implemented over the next six months, with the state’s Tourism Department hoping that the area’s beaches will be declared among the cleanest in south-east Asia.
Goa Tourism has carried out a lot of PR campaigns recently, which are thought to have led to the boost in tourists. Like other Indian destinations, the former Portuguese colony has long been a long-haul timeshare favourite and an affordable longer term getaway for Britons who can and want to avoid the UK winters.
The tourism board also added that its promotion of safety and cleanliness in the state, attractive offers during monsoon and spreading the word about Goa as a destination with multiple holiday options have all worked in the state’s favour, and the new measures look likely to attract significantly more first time visitors to its shores.