Goa to draw tourists to villages: Minister

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Panaji, July 18 (IANS) Goa will promote its villages to offer to tourists traditional and authentic flavour of the state, and two villages will be groomed for the purpose, according to a draft master plan.

Tourism Minister Manohar Azgaonkar told the Goa legislative assembly about this on Tuesday. In a written reply to a question by Congress member Chandrakant Kavlekar, the minister said the draft master plan “proposes two tourism village stays programmes under the ‘culture and heritage programmes’.”

“The elements undertaken for promoting village stays — identification of village cluster — are based on authentic features, with emphasis on maintenance of Goan tradition and culture,” Azgaonkar said.

“The aim is to seek innovative means of financing, i.e., private participation, CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiative of companies, crowd funding, hotel chains and multinational organisations developing model tourist experience villages,” he added.

Tourism stakeholders in the state have been trying to wean away to the hinterland Goa’s tourism from popular coastline, which attracts more than four million tourists every year.

The Tourism Minister said that efforts would be made to ensure “minimum quality standards to be identified for a village interested in vying to be part of the village circuit and get promoted”.

–IANS

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