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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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Goa Police Ensures Strict Monitoring of Cash Transactions at Goa Casinos Ahead of Polls

Elections to Goa's two Lok Sabha constituencies and bypolls to three assembly seats will be held on April 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday

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Casino
Casino Popular with Indian Gamblers. Pixabay

With the Model Code of Conduct in place for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and assembly bypolls, the Goa Police on Sunday said that they will be strictly monitoring gambling operations in the coastal state, including in casinos.

Deputy Inspector General of Police Rajesh Kumar said that there would be strict vigil of cash transactions at Goa’s casinos, which have been accused of money laundering by the Opposition and civil society.

“… we have laid more emphasis on cracking down on crimes like matka, gambling, narcotics…” he told reporters here.

Casino
This place is more than just a casino. Flickr

He also said that casino operators will have to ensure their patrons have a PAN card, especially while making cash transactions.

“There are laid-down guidelines for casinos… If someone is going with cash, he should have a PAN card and whether the PAN card is being recorded there (at the casino’s end). Whatever norms there are will be enforced,” he added.

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There are six offshore casinos and about nine onshore casinos operating from the state’s numerous coastal resorts.

Elections to Goa’s two Lok Sabha constituencies and bypolls to three assembly seats will be held on April 23, the Election Commission announced on Sunday. (IANS)