Government should adopt growth-oriented steps, says TTAG
The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) has sought growth-oriented steps from the government as the tourism industry is the only income generating industry at present in view of the ban on mining.
Addressing media, on Wednesday evening, the president of TTAG, Mr Francisco Braganza, revealed that the 20 per cent rise in power tariff, introduction of new taxes like service tax, rise in labour cost, besides rise in cruise fares have made a big dent in their profits. TTAG demanded the facility of visa on arrival at par with other states and added that all central agencies and departments have agreed to it and the only thing is that the state government needs to push the matter.
Mr Braganza said that after the meltdown of economies of Western Europe, the operation of Baltic charters has been reduced to three months, and Thomas Cook and Arinkomakat also have reduced their period of operation to 4-5 months.
He stated that there is an urgent need to improve infrastructure — better roads, better beach management, better facilities on the beach etc, adding that no doubt government has removed the hawkers, Lamanis and touts, but the garbage menace is continuing. “Encourage more airlines to have direct international flights to the state. Besides direct landing in Goa should be promoted to raise the level of tourism from lower end to the qualitative one’’ he pointed out.
TTAG has further demanded that private enterprises should be encouraged to set up convention centres, marinas and golf courses to attract high-end tourists adding that all top world tourist destinations have such facilities. It urged the Chief Minister and the Tourism Minister to expedite the Tourism Master Plan by appointing a word class planning consultancy firm and added that this step is a must to boost tourism in the state. [NT]