PANAJI, Goa, India – Announcing the launch of Goa’s first international tourism mart (ITM), Goa Tourism and Development Corporation (GTDC) managing director Nikhil Dessai said that tapping inter-state synergies was the key in boosting tourism activity in the region.
Goa will tie up with neighboring Maharashtra and Karnataka to create mega tourism circuits in an effort to boost the tourism industry in the state.
“Tourism industry pundits have called for creating mega tourism circuits, instead of individual promotion of tourism. By combining the strengths of Goa, Karnataka, and Maharashtra, we are not only creating a mega tourism circuit, but we are also joining strengths to sell tourism in our respective states. The spin-offs will very much benefit individual states,” he said.
Dessai said that several countries in southeast Asia have already reaped the benefits of linking up with each other and are forming mega circuits to jointly attract tourism.
“Look at Vietnam, they have tied up with Thailand to create several exciting packages, which not only reap in revenue … [but] benefits the tourist, too,” he said.
“The trick is to look outward. We have to create new platforms to tap tourism potential. There is no question of Goa losing tourists. All of us would benefit,” Dessai said, refuting fears that Maharashtra and Karnataka could “hijack” tourists headed for Goa.
Dessai further said that blending Goa’s beach-oriented tourism with north Karnataka’s heritage tourism sites like Hampi and Badami and adventure sports venues like the Dandeli wildlife reserve, which is in close proximity to Goa, would make for a holistic tourism package and give the tourist everything s/he is looking for.
Goa attracts nearly 2.5 million tourists annually, of whom about half a million are foreigners.