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Goa Acknowledges Drop in Tourist Arrivals

Goa is one of the top beach and nightlife destinations in the country and last year attracted more than seven million tourists, out of which half a million were foreigners

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Calvim Ferry in Goa. Goa can be
Goa has the potential to become the Venice of the East if it taps its intricate network of inland waterways for commuting. Wikimedia Commons

Tourists arrival in Goa is on decline, acknowledged Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar here on Wednesday and underlined the need to work out solutions to address the issue.

“There is a drop in tourist arrivals in Goa and it needs to be looked into seriously,” Ajgaonkar told reporters after chairing the meeting with the industry stakeholders in Panaji.

“The problems identified will be looked into jointly after taking into confidence all the tourism associations and stakeholders,” the minister said.

Travel and tourism industry stakeholders are expected to submit a comprehensive report on issues affecting tourist arrivals, an official said.

New Year Eve Party
Goa. (Wikimedia Commons)

Industry stakeholders have cried hoarse trying to draw the government’s attention to dropping tourist footfall over the past few years, and blaming the Tourism Ministry for not doing enough to promote the state.

At the meeting, industry stakeholders, led by Travel and Tourism Association of Goa president Savio Messias, urged Ajgaonkar to address the issues plaguing the industry like harassment of tourists, nuisance caused by organised begging at tourist locations, unreasonable taxi charges by local operators, and the high goods and services tax (GST) rate.

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Ajgaonkar assured that his ministry would review the marketing strategy to promote Goa as a tourism destination more efficiently.

Goa is one of the top beach and nightlife destinations in the country and last year attracted more than seven million tourists, out of which half a million were foreigners. (IANS)

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NGO Welcomes Ban on Smoking in Goa Government Offices

All the government departments are required to submit a compliance report to the Directorate of Health Services by June 30

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The new national law bans indoor smoking at schools, hospitals and government offices. Pixabay

The National Organisation for Tobacco Eradication on Wednesday welcomed a recent decision of the Goa Health Ministry to declare government offices and buildings in the state tobacco-free.

General secretary of the anti-tobacco organisation, Goa-based oncologist Dr Shekhar Salkar said that the ban will “help to curb the proliferation of smoking as well as the use of other tobacco products in the State”.

New Year Eve Party
Goa. (Wikimedia Commons)

On May 27 this year, the state health ministry had banned the use of tobacco in all government offices and buildings as part of the central government’s ‘Swachh Bharat, Swasth Bharat’ campaign.

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All the government departments are required to submit a compliance report to the Directorate of Health Services by June 30.

“Global Adult Tobacco Survey 2 shows 9.7 per cent of adults in Goa consume tobacco in some form or the other. This move will surely curtail the tobacco consumption,” Salkar said. (IANS)