Goa govt expects 81 lakh tourists this season, at par with pre-pandemic time | Mint – Mint

  • As per the state government’s projection, the tourist numbers would reach the 2019 level, touching the 81 lakh- or 8.1 million-mark

Goa is expecting the number of tourist to reach the pre-pandemic level of 81 lakh or 8.1 million. The inauguration of the new airport in North Goa is expected to provide a boost to the tourism sector.
Goa is also looking to attract `digital nomads’ (remote workers who travel to different locations and use the Internet technology to work) who earn around 70-75 lakh per annum and contribute back 35 per cent of their earnings to the economy,state tourism minister Rohan Khaunte told reporters.
The tourist season in Goa generally starts in November and extends till February. As per the state government’s projection, the tourist numbers would reach the 2019 level, touching the 81 lakh- or 8.1 million-mark, he said.
Prime Minister Narendra at the inauguration of the new airport at Goa said, “It is true that tourism helps in boosting the soft power of a nation, while as a nation becomes stronger, the world wants to know more about that nation and is attracted towards it.” The Prime Minister further added that if one glances at India’s prosperous history, it was the centre of attraction for the entire world where scholars, travellers, businessmen, industrialists and students would come to India to know more about the land.
The Prime Minister reiterated that tourism has the biggest potential for employment and self-employment and elaborated upon the steps to improve the tourism infrastructure in Goa. “More than 10 thousand crores have been invested in highway projects in the state since 2014. The traffic problem in Goa is also being addressed. Electrification of the Konkan Railway is also benefiting the state”, he said.
The tourism industry in Goa was badly hit due to the coronavirus pandemic in the last two years. As many as nine lakh (0.9 million) international tourists and 72 lakh (7.2 million) domestic tourists had arrived in the coastal state in 2019. The inauguration of Manohar International Airport, a second airport of the state, and opening up of new markets like Germany, the USA, UK (where e-visa facility has been made available) will boost the number of tourists, Rohan Khaunte said. The tourism department has introduced several new initiatives like the Home Stay policy which will incentivise the sector and also help the rural economy, Khaunte said.
*With inputs from agencies
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