While making the outline of the priorities the Tourism Minister has given the top priority to the safety and security of the tourists coming to Goa. The new development may result in increasing the confidence level of the tourists coming into the state.
According to the sources, more than 6 million tourists arrive in the state of Goa every year and this figure is showing an upward trend with every passing year. Goa is one of the top most choices of destination in India for the foreigners and the statement made by the Tourism Minister will surely give a lot of relief to them. If you look the at some of the negative incidents that happened with the foreigners in the state it is the visible fact that the safety and security of the foreigners have always taken a back seat in Goa.
Based on the press release issued by the Goa Tourism office, Minister for Tourism, Govt of Goa, Mr. Manohar Azgaonkar said, “We have set the agenda for tourism in Goa, with Safety and Security of a tourist being the No 1 priority for the tourism department. The Goa government through the Home department is augmenting budgets for improving safety and security measures in the State keeping in mind the tourism industry and the importance of providing a safe holiday for tourists visiting Goa.”
According to the sources, Be it on or off the coast, tourists makes Goa as their most preferred destination of holiday every year. The increasing number of arrivals whether from the national or international it reinforces one fact that Goa is a most wanted destination for the tourists from across the world.
The sources have confirmed that the arrival numbers have shown a stiff rise since 2012. According to the sources in the department, the numbers have gone up almost two and a half fold since 2012 i.e. from 2.7 million 2012 to 6.3 million in the last year. The arrival shows the increase of 44% in both domestic and foreign arrivals to the state. Meanwhile, the arrivals of foreigner tourists alone show around 66% increase from 2012 to 2016. “Over 4.50 Lakhs foreign tourist arrivals in 2012 which went up in 2016 to 6.80 lakhs arrivals recording the 66% increase. The e-tourist visa alone contributed to one lakh tourists arrivals a year, with other arrivals by luxury cruise vessels, charters,” said the sources.
The Tourism Department has also made the claims that, The Government of Goa, through the Department of Tourism and Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) have been working round the clock not only to cater to the rise in tourist arrivals by way of providing tourism related infrastructure but also providing safety and security measures around the clock. “While the security measures have been augmented over the years at the Goa airport the security measures at the State borders have also been tightened giving tourists a sense of surety on the safety cover available in the State right from point of arrival. Safety measures at hotels, tourist spots and across the state is visible and increasing substantially,” said the sources.
According to the sources, Goa government has given the security cover on the Goan beaches through more than 100 odd IRB police force working 24X7 including more than 600 lifeguards, Special Women taxi service and CCTV cameras installed at the several tourist locations which resulted in adding more safety and security cover on the beach through a 100 odd IRB force, more than 600 lifeguards, special women taxi services, and CCTV cameras at several tourist locations have added more powers on safety measures in the state.
The department has also made the claim that Goa is one of the safest destinations for the single woman traveler from across the world. Especially when the Women’s helpline 1091 in the place and functioning 24X7 beside the setting up of special Women police stations across the state handled by the woman police officers and working for providing the services to Women in distress, said the sources.
The department also claims that the Women Taxi Services have been devised specially for the single woman traveler. Records show that while women domestic travelers use this facility extensively, more than 10 percent of the commuters have been foreign women travelers. Meanwhile the beach, lifeguards are busy keeping a close watch on and off the waters and have rescued hundreds of tourists from drowning while swimming. A beach patrol till midnight is also provided and several rescue cases reported.
In one of the most important developments that took place today, the State government through the Department of Tourism has availed of funds under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for installing CCTV cameras on the entire beach belt. “The first phase which will cover the beach belt from Sinquerim to Keri is already in progress of installations of the surveillance systems and the second phase covering Panjim to Canacona is awaiting approvals and will be implemented as soon as the same is obtained,” said the sources adding that “Special control rooms for monitoring the CCTV footage will be set up at Tourist Information Centers at various locations identified. To monitor beach activities at shacks, CCTVs will be made mandatory for all shacks operating on the beaches.”
The Chairmen of GTDC Mr. Nilesh Cabral told the media that “We have never compromised on tourist safety in Goa. Every year the focus is on stepping up these measures and all agencies involved in this are doing their best to ensure that tourists have a safe holiday in Goa.” According to the sources, Even during festivals and events which draw lakhs of tourists, the safety cover has doubled by keeping the hawks eye on larger events like Carnaval, Shigmo, Zatras and feasts celebrated by various communities.
According to the press note, The Goa Tourism and Goa Tourism Development Corporation also use their social media platforms which include Facebook, twitter, G +, Instagram and other websites to sensitize tourists on the do’s and don’ts while holidaying in the state. The tourism department and GTDC also work with the hotel industry and other tourism stakeholders to create awareness among tourists on the safety aspects while touring Goa.
It may be recalled that the recent incident of rape and murder of an Irish national at Canacona has raised a question mark on the safety and security of the tourists coming into the state. The initiative of the new government could be considered as a step forward in curbing the crime against the tourists in the state? Please do leave your valuable comments on this issue.
SOURCE : GOA TOURISM PRESS NOTE
IMAGE SOURCE : FIRST POST