Tourism stakeholders happy over food and cultural fest


Representatives of the hotel industry on Tuesday said that this year’s Carnival and food and cultural festival in Goa has helped boost the image of Goa, put the season back on track, and have urged the government to organise similar events to attract tourists round the year.
President of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) Francis Braganza said, “Hotels were almost full for carnival and the food and cultural festival was an added attraction.”
There was also better awareness of the Goa carnival, leading tourist influx and higher occupancies at all hotels and good sales at restaurants and shacks, Braganza said.
While suggesting organisation of more such events round the year to draw tourists Braganza batted for more approvals for new hotels since Goa does not have the carrying  capacity, by finalizing the Tourism Master Plan, and more private flights  to Goa during such festivals.
Wendell Rodrigues, Farhan Aktar, Parikrama, Remo Fernandes raised the standard of the entertainment at the Food and Cultural Festival, Braganza said.
Ralph D'Souza, former TTAG President and head of the Tourism cell also praised the government for the good show at carnival. D'Souza suggested, “We should do still better the next year.” He said that all the agents and franchisees all over India and the world want to know whether the Food Festival is going to be a permanent feature.
Ernest Dias, TTAG Vice President said he was happy with the organization of carnival and the food festival. “If any glitches, they should be improved the next year around,” he said.
 Savio Messias, Vice President of TTAG was confident that such events will improve the image of Goa and bring more tourists into the state. [H]