Minister for Transport reiterated that Dabolim airport will not shut down in the near future, considering the increasing air traffic. The Asia Air-Traffic Safety Association suggests three airports in Goa in near future.
Minister for Transport Mauvin Godinho in his address during the Goa Liberation day parade at Chicalim said, "Whenever some good projects are to come up in Goa, there are several unnecessary objections. How long will such opposition continue? There are some sections of people who then complain about unemployment in Goa.”
He further said, “If we want employment and economic activities in Goa, then we just cannot oppose any projects which are coming to Goa.”
Furthermore, commenting on the tourism sector, Godinho said that Goa has not received the identity of a tourism destination for no reason at all. It happened because Goans are congenial people. There are a few people who are full of negativity and who are trying to spread it all over. There are still speculations that the Dabolim Airport will shut down, but it will not happen, and the airport will function.
“People have a notion that all tourism activities are happening in North Goa, however, there is a beautiful cruise terminal in Mormugao. But recently, what did a few people do with the US tourists? A few taxi drivers try to cheat the tourists, and they feel by doing so they will earn more. But they must understand that we must work hard and compete because we are in a competitive world,” Godinho added.
Godinho also said that tourists who come to Goa should have a choice of their preferred mode of transport as it happens elsewhere. He felt ashamed on Goa Liberation day and asked whether Goan minds have been liberated from their cheap way of thinking. Taxi owners are the ambassadors of our state, and their hearts should be liberated. Taxi drivers should understand that they cannot dictate terms to the tourists about how they should travel in Goa.
He also said that he was not ready to accept the clarification that the recent incident happened due to a misunderstanding. If at all there was a miscommunication, then taxi operators cannot hold tourists to ransom. This has damaged the image of Goa.
After his address, during the vintage car rally event, commenting on the Dabolim airport, Godinho said that rumours that the Dabolim airport will be shut down soon are making the rounds in public circles and on social media.
He said, “But I would like to reiterate that Goa needs three airports, considering the expected footfall of the tourists in coming years. Both Mopa and Dabolim airports will coexist and will function smoothly.”
He further pointed out that there are a lot of beautiful things happening in Goa, and we being in a competitive world need to be good enough. These days up to 100 flights are coming to Dabolim airport, and as per the study done by the Asia Air-Traffic Safety Association, air traffic in Goa is going to increase.
Pointing out the need to improve hospitality and discipline by the stakeholders of tourism, the minister added that the recent incident where the US tourists were harassed by the local taxi operators from Mormugao, has brought a bad name to Goa. If things such as these continue, nobody will want to come to South Goa.
“We must be more concerned considering the Sindhudurga district of Maharashtra and the Konkan belt is developing in terms of tourism. We need to be competent,” the minister stressed.