Friday 18 October 2019

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Economy | Tourism

Tourism plans in Konkan may hit Goa

 

The Goa chamber of commerce and industry perceives tourism development in Konkan region in Maharashtra a big threat to the Goan tourism industry.

The Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra, equal to the size of Goa state, is being notified as the tourist district by the Shiv Sena-BJP government of Maharashtra, allocating Rs 140 crore for its infrastructural development.

Its strategic location, towards northwards of Goa, is as beautiful as the Goan beaches. On the contrary, peaceful and virgin beaches of Sindhudurg, with no commercialisation of any sort, can become a major attraction to the foreign tourists.

Commenting on the infrastructural plans of the Maharashtra government in this region, Dattaraj Salgaoncar, president of the GCCI, says its scientific planning would adversely affect Goa, where the tourism is hampered due to lack of planned infrastructure.

Besides opening up new colleges in the district for a required manpower for the tourism sector, the Maharashtra government is also seeking private participation in projects like the international air port in Vengurla and Disneyland in Malwan. The plan is to also develop its historic forts, temples and hill stations.

"See the way the Sawantwadi railway station for the Konkan railway is developed, in contrast with a small station at old Goa", points out Salgaoncar, while blaming the local authorities for having a lack of foresight.

While Goa is yet to identify its site for the international air port, somewhere on Goa-maharashtra border, Salgaoncar also fears that the tiny tourist state would lose tremendously if Maharashtra's proposal for the international air port materialises.

Narayan Rane, Maharashtra's revenue minister, also made it clear during his recent Goa visit that it would cautiously keep away the factors which had negative impact on Goa's tourism industry. He is even planning to amend the land ceiling act to prohibit outsiders from buying land.

Observing that foreign as well as domestic high class tourists prefer resorts adjacent to the beaches, Rane is also planning to approach the central government with a request to exempt Sindhudurg district from the provisions of coastal zone regulations.

Despite having 28 star hotels, most of it on the beachline, the tourist inflow here is declining at a very fast rate, though its annual growth rate is still on a positive mark. Most of the private airlines have stopped its operations while charter flights are also shying away from Goa.






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