The Goa government has given top priority to the tourism sector and is promoting various tourism-related verticals and working towards providing quality infrastructure for the tourists visiting the coastal state, Governor P. S. Sreedharan Pillai said on Tuesday.
In his address to the newly-elected state legislative assembly, Pillai also said that the upcoming Mopa international airport in Goa, was likely to be commissioned by August this year.
“Tourism is one of the backbone of the State economy. More than 20 per cent of the population depends directly (and) indirectly on tourism and allied activities. ‘God’s Own Abode’ – Goa is known worldwide as the best and safest tourist destination for its clean beaches, ancient temples, churches, rich heritage, hospitality, rich diversified culture and its beauty,” Pillai said in his address.
“My government has given top priority to the tourism sector in order to promote health tourism, hinterland tourism, medical tourism, adventure tourism, eco-tourism, heritage tourism, spiritual tourism and provide best quality infrastructure for the tourists visiting our State,” he also said.
After being formally sworn-in as Chief Minister on Monday, Pramod Sawant had also said that his government’s endeavour was to make the coastal state the top tourism destination in the country.
The Governor also listed the various concessions given by the state government to sustain the industry, which has been severely impacted by the Covid pandemic, which had resulted in a sharp drop in the footfall of tourists, both domestic and international, to the state.
“The Tourism Shack Policy was formulated to create employment and business opportunities to the locals to earn their livelihood by granting 50 per cent concession in license fees to the shack allottees taking into account the financial losses incurred by them during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
“My government is making efforts to promote and encourage more international chartered flights, ‘International Charter Support (waiver of landing fees) 2021’ scheme has been notified by way of waiving landing fees up to Rs 1 lakh,” Pillai also said.
Speaking about the development of the state’s upcoming airport at the Mopa plateau in North Goa, Pillai said: “The construction work of Mopa airport is expected to be completed and commissioned by August 2022”.