‘Goa should bid goodbye to mass tourism’

Panaji, April 3: It’s time for Goa to bid goodbye to mass tourism and focus on specific sectors, a top official has said.

Francis Braganza who heads the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), was speaking at the inauguration of the Goa International Travel Mart (GITM) in Panaji Wednesday evening that was attended by hundreds of foreign and Indian delegates.

“There is no point in pursuing mass tourism. The golden age of mass tourism is over,” Braganza said.

His comments come at a time when Goa clocked nearly three million arrivals in 2013 and Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar wants the number to increase to five million over the next few years.

Mass tourism has resulted in significant pressure on the state’s inadequate infrastructure, resulting in chaos during the peak season.

Innovative leisure and business tourism was the future for Goa, Braganza said, adding that Goa should focus on tourism oriented to eco-sensitive areas, medicine, wellness and sports.

Braganza also said the state would have to say goodbye to tourism geared to cater to hippies, who back in the 1960s and 970s put the state on the international tourism map.

Hundreds of buyers from nearly 30 countries including the US, Britain, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Turkey, Italy, the Czech Republic and Russia are expected to participate in the GITM.

IANS