After criticism tourism ministry plans ‘local flavour’ for Carnival


After widespread criticism surfaced over moves to dilute Goan Carnival, the tourism ministry has finally settled for the theme ‘Reviving the Traditional Goan Carnival’ with plans to promote the traditional pomp and gaiety and add more local flavour to the four day festivities. 
The ministry entrusted local level organising committees to work out the plans for organising carnival and activities in their respective cities at a meeting held on Thursday.
While Panjim, Margao, Vasco and Mapusa will be the four venues for traditional float parades and related festivities, extending the festivities to Ponda and Shiroda is also under consideration. Sources say that this year, the local level organising committees will have an added task of short-listing the floats, an exercise which used to be undertaken by the tourism ministry.
“As the food festival is also being held simultaneously, we have asked the organising committees in the four cities to take on additional tasks,” said a ministry official.
While the committees have asked for additional funds, the ministry has not yet committed on this and would be finalising budgets later this month.
Meanwhile, the tourism ministry has selected Vinsan Graphics as the event management agency for carnival and it will assist the state government in organising the four day festivities which also includes the food festival. The ministry is also proposing to tie up with Visa World Wide to promote of the Goa carnival across 16 countries.
In India, two mega media conferences are proposed in Mumbai and Delhi in the run up to the festivities. The ministry is also contemplating on inviting national TV channels and FM radio stations to promote carnival and cover the event.
The State is expecting to draw a large number of visitors to Goa for carnival this year scheduled to be held from February 9-12. Travel industry is also enthused as air tickets and hotel bookings are looking up ahead of the four day festivities. [H]