Goa has all ingredients to attract MICE tourism: Deloitte

PANAJI: Investment enquires on Goa’s hospitality and real estate sectors are pouring in considerably, according to a well known international investment consultant, but the difficulties in acquiring land have deterred investors from the UK, Far East and Middle East, said a Deloitte official.

On a monthly average, Deloitte receives two prospective investors interested in Goa, from its huge list of enquiries.
Mr PR Srinivas, heading the tourism, hospitality and leisure division of Deloitte India, said Goa needs to improve on its basic infrastructure such as upgrading its airport, hygiene is another factor and build state-of-the art business convention centers to attract MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions) tourism. MICE is the new buzzword in the international tourist arena, and Goa has all the readymade ingredients to attract this potential market. MICE relates to various business groups and individual travellers, he said.
On the side lines of an investment session at ITM- Goa, he said the state needs to build the kind of infrastructure which was essential to attract tourists who were being lured by the beaches of Sri Lanka. “Goa needs to plan according to its future. A lot of tourism is going to Sri Lanka, Seychelles and Mauritius. Goa must create enough infrastructures to tap these tourists, or it will miss the bus, he said.
Goa tourism industry is growing at such a rate that it is more than capable of overcoming any recent upheavals. However, its 7,500 hotel rooms cater more to mid class and below tourists. Goa’s nearest rivals, Phuket in Thailand has 36,000 hotel rooms and Dubai, smaller than Goa has 60,000 hotel rooms, said Mr Vijay Thacker, director Horwath HTL, and event moderator at Investment Opportunities, Knowledge session at the International Travel Mart.
Mr Dilip Puri, CEO, Deut India, said Goa lacks the variety of brand present in the luxury category. In terms of branded hotels, Goa accounts 6.5 per cent of 63,000 branded rooms in the country. The latest in the upscale branded category in Goa is the Hyatt chain, to join Taj Heritage and Lela.  Just three upscale branded hotels here, compared with 18,000 in Seychelles.
The ambit of product and services displayed by exhibitors, found buyers and franchisers from hotels and tour operators doing brisk business.  Ziva Spa, from Indore is a chain of authentic Thai spas in India, has bagged franchise deals and is negotiating with some eight individual operators and hotels in Goa to set up its chain of Spa, said Mr Ash Garg consultant Ziva Spa. The company has made its mark on Palace-on-Wheels, Royal Rajasthan on Wheels, and Sheraton, Jaipur among other outlets.
Mr Ravi Goel of Ecomantra, said we offer adventure tourism from rafting, mountain climbing, discovering caves. Tourist can enjoy new experiences, cultures and crafts, authentic local cuisine and the satisfaction of having contributed to preserving the wilderness. Mr Goel said Ecomantra has tied up with several hotels during the
travel event.
Meghalaya Tourism Development Corporation, in a bilateral tie-up with the Goa Trade and Development Corporation, supports and markets each other products.