The homestay policy in Goa will give a boost to hinterland, eco and adventure tourism in the state. Necessary infrastructural development needed at South Goa's beaches will be fulfilled and touts will be taken to task, says Minister for Tourism Rohan Khaunte.
The Minister for Information and Technology and Tourism Rohan Khaunte informed reporters during a press conference, ‘Under the beach management policy, the coastal villages of Goa, the peripheral area where the beach starts, were not cleaned before. But now it is being done by the tourism department.’
‘Many beaches don't have high-end surveillance cameras to keep the beach safe from crime. With the help of central government funds, these beaches will get high-resolution heavy-duty CCTV cameras within a year,’ Khaunte said.
Commenting on the issue of watersports activities in the coastal area of South Goa, Khaunte said that the local fishermen and the watersports operators must understand that the tourism department is working in favour and support of them.
Goa Electronics Limited (GEL) was incorporated into tourism activities to streamline and help local watersports operators to grow their businesses. In the near future, digitalisation will take place and via digitalisation, these operators will benefit more.
Pointing out the problem of touts, the tourism minister said that they are the major problem for Goa's tourism. No illegal activities by touts will be tolerated in Goa henceforth. Some elected representatives, for their benefit, are misleading the people that watersports will be privatized. This will not happen. But it will be regulated by the government.
Speaking about hinterland, adventure and eco-tourism in South Goa, Khaunte revealed that the tourism department is already working on ‘Sun, sand, sea and hinterland’. Be it Mandrem, Canacona or any rural villages of Goa, the homestay policy will be coming soon with the caravan policy.
This policy will give support to promote homestays. We have to bring sustainable and responsible tourism to Goa. Canacona, Sanguem and other similar areas of Goa will be promoted for eco and homestay tourism.
Commenting on South Goa beach tourism, the minister informed that any requirement to attract tourists towards South Goa beaches will be taken care of by the tourism department.
"South Goa beaches are beautiful and any infrastructural development in terms of tourism needed on these beaches could be fulfilled by discussing with the local MLAs," Khaunte stated.
It may be recalled that two months ago some watersports operators from South Goa beaches were unhappy over the inclusion of GEL by the tourism department to regulate the watersports business. The traditional watersports operators questioned the need for GEL and were not ready to do business under GEL.
Recently, there were violent incidents involving tourists at beaches. The rise in such tourist hostility and illegal activities in the coastal belt of Goa had raised several questions in the minds of tourism stakeholders. Minister for Tourism Rohan Khaunte cleared doubts and gave the assurance that the majority of the issues will be resolved soon.