1.1 Tourism is essentially an expression of a natural instinct for learning, experience, education and entertainment. The motivating factors for tourism includes social, religious, business interests and quest for knowledge. The economic implications of this phenomenon are wide-ranging and capable of influencing the development process. Tourism contributes positively to reconciling environment protection, economic development and fight against poverty by creating wealth through economic movement and foreign exchange earnings, contribution to Government revenue, spread of economic and social benefits to under developed areas, income and job creation, raised living standards and preservation and conservation of natural and cultural environment. The increasingly recognized human, social, economic and cultural values of tourism need focused attention.
2. WORLD SCENARIO AND INDIA’S POSITION
2.1 Modern advanced means of communication have resulted in massive movement of people throughout the world, drawing them closer, thereby enhancing understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures, backgrounds and life styles. Tourism has emerged as the fastest growing industry. It is estimated that world tourist arrivals in 1999 were 664.4 million and the world travel receipts in 2000 were approximately 475 billion US $ which accounts for 11% of the world’s GDP. India accounted for 0.41% of the tourist arrivals (2.7 million) and around 0.66% of the travel receipts (Rs.3009 million US $). Tourism sector in India is currently the third largest foreign exchange earner after textiles and software. Our vast country has a rich kaleidoscope of natural attractions like mountains, beaches, wild life, rivers, lakes and man made attractions like historical monuments, forts, palaces and havelis. Unity in diversity is unique feature of our Indian culture and the same is visible through out the length and breath of this country.
3. TOURISM IN THE STATE
3.1 Tourism in Goa has assumed the role of major economic activity having direct and indirect correlation with all other sectors. Goa is a unique cultural mosaic with diversity of tourism resources. Planned tourism development in Goa started after three years of Liberation of the Territory i.e. in 1965 with limited funds. Later on, inflow of Five Year Plan funds to the State started resulting in creation of the present tourist facilities though the pace of progress has not been to the desired level.
3.2 The Goa Tourism Development Corporation was established in the year 1982. The Corporation deals with the operations in the tourism sector and provides budget accommodation, sight seeing tours and river cruises.
3.3 From a few hundreds tourists per year, in the early years, the tourist arrivals have crossed over twelve and a half lakhs in the year 2000.
3.4 Though the growth in tourist arrivals is impressive, yet more emphasis on qualitative, high-end tourism is the need of the hours.
3.5 Tourism has been declared as an industry in the state. Annual foreign exchange receipts from the tourism sector in Goa are currently estimated to the extent of Rs. 600 crores.
The objectives of tourism for development are :-
4.1 It becomes a unifying force nationally and internationally fostering better understanding and friendship.
4.2 It imparts direction and opportunity to the youth of the State through inbound, outbound and domestic tourism to understand the geographical and cultural diversity of nature and regions as well as diverse aspirations and view points so as to bring about greater national integration.
4.3 It offers opportunities to the youth not only for employment but also for taking up activities of national building and character like sports, adventure and the like.
4.4 It brings socio-economic benefits to the community and the state, in terms of faster economic growth, enhanced employment opportunities, higher income generation, foreign exchange earnings, balanced development of backward areas, higher tax revenue to the state and optimizes human resource development.
4.5 It becomes a positive force for the preservation and enrichment of our cultural heritage, environment and ecology.
4.6 It becomes a major avenue for the people of the State to observe, feel and admire its magnificent attractions and achievements including natural beauty, geographical and cultural diversities, heritage, arts and crafts, industries and scientific progress.
4.7 Above all, tourism should be able to project the quintessence of our culture so as to give our people a sense of unity and identity, and resulting in broadening of their intellectual, emotional and cultural horizons and a sense of belonging of pride to the national and international traveller.
5. APPROACH AND STRATEGY
While retaining the traditional image of Goa as a prime beach destination, diversification and value addition of the tourism product would be speeded up. New areas such as eco-tourism, hinterland development (villages), cultural, heritage tourism, business tourism, adventure tourism and indigenous Health Care System would be encouraged. The private sector would be encouraged to play a leading role in the development of tourism in the state.
6. POLICY PROPOSALS
The basic Government policy would be to raise the quality of the infrastructure, which is a foundation for the sustainable growth of tourism and is crucial for accelerated benefits to the people of the state. Accordingly, Government would endeavour to provide:-
6.1 Encouragement to existing private initiatives through an appropriate package of fiscal and friendly taxation measures.
6.2 Investor friendly environment for new private initiatives through a combination of prompt processes and progressive fiscal and taxation policies.
6.3 Develop tourism as a non-invasive instrument of revitalization, conservation and growth.
6.4 A balanced tourism development as a part of the overall Area Development Strategy.
6.5 Public infrastructural facilities including local planning and zoning arrangements.
6.6 Entrust regulatory measures to ensure social, cultural and environmental sustainability .
6.7 Ensure that the type and scale of tourism development is compatible with the environment and social cultural milieu of the area.
6.8 Ensure that the local community is involved and the benefits of tourism accrue to them.
6.9 Ensure availability of trained manpower primarily from amongst the local pollution.
6.10 Undertake research, prepare Master Plans, formulate marketings strategies and organize domestic and overseas promotion and marketing jointly with the industry.
6.11 Ensure Regulation of Indigenous Tourism related Health Care System.
6.12 Measures to ensure promotion, facilitation and regulation of Tourist Trade.
7. ROLE OF PRIVATE SECTOR (SAMBANDH)
In the initial stages Government had to come forward and build basic infrastructural, as at the time, the private sector was reluctant to come forward, on account of low returns. Now, the situation has changed and therefore the Government will concentrate on upgradation of the infrastructure only. Goa has a high-density road network and a four lane expressway under construction from Verna Industrial Estate to the port town of Mormugao. Goa has a comfortable power situation drawing 394 MW in addition to 48 MW generation in the private sector. By the end of 2005, 500 MW of power would be available against a total projected demand of 322 MW. Against a total projected demand of 339 MLD of water by 2011, the total availability of 2005 would be 650 MLD. However, Government would extend all necessary assistance and facilities required by the private sector for development of tourism in the State. Areas like accommodation facilities, restaurants, entertainment facilities, shopping complexes have been identified for private sector participation.
8. ADOPTION OF NEW TECHNOLOGY (SUVIDHA)
Major thrust of the Government would be on fast and modern methods of publicity and promotion. An ambitious program would be launched to connect the Central and State Agencies, members of Travel Trade & Airlines for dissemination of information and exchange of knowledge. Some of the important areas that would receive special attention are: –
a) Computerization of offices with up-to-date information.
b) Provision of INTERNET & E-MAIL
c) Development of CD-ROMS.
d) Installation of TOUCH SCREEN of International standards and IVRS at important centers.
e) Installation of Handy Audio Reach Kit (HARK).
f) REMOTE PRESENCE SYSTEM at important Monuments (like the one recently installed at QUTAB MINAR AT DELHI)
g) Roadshows abroad using sophisticated technologies marketing tools.
9. FALL OUTS / NEGATIVE EFFECTS
The Tourism industry, from time to time has borne the brunt of negative publicity. Government would actively contain such negative fall out through proactive publicity with the co-operation and assistance of the media, general public, travel trade and Indian missions abroad. In other words, all concerned would be proactively involved in the process of tourism promotion and state building.
10.1 It would be the responsibility of the state to provide adequate finance for the development of tourism while the Government of India would provide funds for the Centrally Sponsored Schemes.
10.2 State contribution would be generated through friendly taxation and fiscal policies. Funds would not be a constraint for upgradation of infrastructure and for tourism promotion.
11. ACTION PLAN (SWAGAT, SANRACHNA )
11.1 In order to achieve the desired objectives, the structural organisation of the tourism set-up would be further strengthened and toned up. Processes and procedures would be simplified. Co-operation and assistance of Central Government and other agencies would be taken. The hospitality industry, people of the state and other like-minded organizations would be actively involved in the developmental process.
11.2 In addition, the following measures would be taken within a definite time frame to achieve the objectives set out in this policy.
11.3 Strengthening of statistical machinery, reporting system and development of a comprehensive data base to quantify and evaluate the socio-economic benefits of tourism.
11.4 Identification of potential tourist destinations for integrated development, formulation of appropriate marketing strategies and monitoring of progress of implementation and impact of programmes through development of a Management Information System (MIS).
11.5 Organisation of workshops and seminars on tourism to educate the imbibe a positive tourism culture amongst staff, planners and the general public.
11.6 Focussing special attention on the development of Eco-tourism, cultural, heritage tourism and adventure tourism.
11.7 Launching entrepreneurship development and self-employment schemes to involve the educated un-employed youth in providing various tourist facilities and services thereby creating employment opportunities.
11.8 Identifying potential markets and adopting focussed marketing strategies based on research to make promotional and marketing efforts cost effective and well-directed.
11.9 Strengthening of human resource development institutions and improving the standards of training in private institutes through accreditation.
11.10 Creating awareness about Goan traditions and hospitality through local bodies, N.G.Os and Youth Organisations.
11.11 Improving the efficacy of tourist facilitation services by co-ordinating with all concerned agencies, adopting information technology and imparting training to customs and immigrations officials, taxi drivers, porters, tourist guides, etc.
11.12 Encouraging the private sector to create infrastructural facilities by providing suitable fiscal and other incentives specially for paying guest accommodation, Heritage hotels leisure and marine tourism.
11.13 Encouraging involvement of N.G.Os like INTACH and other Heritage societies by providing them support, assistance and making use of their expertise for development of tourism.
11.14 Providing assistance & facilitation to India as well as foreign investors for setting up special tourism projects by streamlining the Project clearance mechanism and placing it on the fast track.
11.15 Imposing regulatory measures on developers, operators, tourists and local communities under the existing laws and rules to ensure social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism projects.
11.16 Setting up of a Tourism Promotion Board to review the policy from time to time and supervise the overall operations of the tourism sector in the State.