Goa Tourism Updates: Keynotes from Goa International Travel Mart 2019 - eNidhi India Travel Blog

Goa Tourism Updates: Keynotes from Goa International Travel Mart 2019

Last week I was in Goa attending Goa International Travel Mart 2019 as official media invited by Goa Tourism. While I have already blogged about the Hotel I stayed in, Deltin Casino that we visited, e-bike tours I checked out, Bambolim resort and other travel bloggers I met, this post shares key updates from the main event- GITM 2019.

GITM 2019 was inaugurated by Goa CM Dr Pramod Sawant on 23rd October at Arpora's Park Regis hotel's banquet hall. The young and energetic BJP Chief Minister of Goa, along with his deputy Sri Manohar Ajgaonkar (who is also Tourism Minister for Goa), Mr J Ashok Kumar, Secretary-Tourism and Shri Nikhil Desai, MD, GTDC shared lots of information related to Goa as a tourism destination, its unique offerings, road map for the future and more. A unique video promoting Goa was also released during this launch. Next two days GITM 2019 was held at Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium in Dona Paula. This was was a buyer-seller meet where trade partners, travel agents, hotels, resorts and casino owners, media personnel, tour operators interacted with each other to explore mutually beneficial opportunities and help Goa Tourism grow as a whole. A press conference was also held giving us key updates.

Below I am listing key information about Goa Tourism updates I was able to extract during the press meets, inauguration event and other activities during GITM 2019.

1. TUI gets clearance: British operator TUI is likely to operate more direct flights from London Gatwick to Goa on 787 dreamliner, filling in the void left behind by Thomas Cook.

2. Safety aspect: Madhurima raised question about safety of women solo travelers. The response was that no parts of Goa has been declared as unsafe or "no go zone" for tourists. The police has been sensitivised about safety of tourists and any Goan resident will be more than happy to step in and help if there's any danger to any tourists. There is always a small iota of risk anywhere in the world-no place can be declared as "nothing ever went wrong here" but Goa is as safe as any other popular tourist destination in the world and there's no need for concern. (Of course do take standard precautions and stay alert)

3. Public Transport: Madhurima also asked about availability of public transport to explore Goa. The response was that most tourists prefer personal transport (cabs) because of time and convenience, but most of Goa can also be reached using Public transport. Both Govt (Kadamba) and several private buses operate in state connecting every nook n corner with hubs like Panjim and Madgaon.
I've written here how to reach catch bus from Goa airport and reach city for 1% of taxi fare.

4. Heli tourism: I asked if there's any plan for heli tourism. Like how grand canyon helicopter tour is famous, how BLR introduced heli taxi to reach electronic city from BIAL, helicopter tourism to see Doodhsagar falls or heli taxi from airport to north Goa would have been nice. The response was that permanent helipads are being constructed and once ready, heli tourism should be available within next few years.

5. Goa's second airport: Goa is working on a second airport at Mopa. It is expected to be operational by 2022. This new greenfield airport is expected to have capacity of 30 million passengers per year.

6. Single window system for investments: Goa has a 30 day Single window clearance system for all investment proposals.

7. The numbers: (shared by Nikhil Desai, MD, Goa Tourism Development Corporation)
  • Birds: Goa has about 534 different bird species- local as well as migratory.
  • Hotels: 2835 registered hotels with 74000 beds, 12% of them are 5 star, hotels get about 72% occupancy overall
  • Tourist Numbers: 10 million tourists are expected this year in Goa, fueled by 800 chartered flights and 40 cruise ships besides other modes.
  • Four of Asia's top 20 beaches are in Goa
8. Adventure Tourism: Hot Air balloon rides, bungee jumps, watersports, e-bike tours,  trekking and a dozen other options are available for tourists.

9. Other interesting aspects- Medical tourism, festivals (Shigmo, Goa Carnival etc), Destination Wedding, Spices/Plantation tourism, Feni tasting and a lot more.

GITM Exhibitors- Over 60+ exhibitors/service providers interacted with over 220 domestic and international buyers.

Essentially there's more to Goa than beaches and alcohol. Do try various other aspects of Goa on your next trip. Tourism is main source of revenue for Goa and government won't leave any attempts unattended to make Goa more tourism friendly. Govt policies and priorities are also driven by the same focus on tourism.  Goa Miles app taxi is gaining traction in Goa and giving some relief from Taxi Mafia. Lots of self drive cars and bike rental options can also be explored. Attending GITM 2019 helped me get better perspective of Goa's tourism industry.

You can also enter Goa via cruise now- details

My other Goa Posts below
Places to visit in Goa
Property & Services Review
7) Bubble Pond, Goa
 Events (in Goa that I attended)
Other Goa related posts
1) Tata Nano Superdrive in Goa, 2010
5) GITM 2019

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