PANAJI: In yet another attempt to give a fillip to tourism, the state will launch ‘Heli-Tourism’ in partnership with Pawan Hans Ltd from February 1.
Announcing this on the occasion of pre-launch familiarisation flight held on Tuesday, Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said that the move will certainly bolster the image of the tourism industry and bring in the much-required world-class touch to the sector.
Parsekar said, “This is part of our efforts to promote tourism in the state. Goa will be one of the few states in the country to operate such a service for tourists thereby promoting high-end adventure tourism.”
Giving details about the project, managing director of Pawan Hans B P Sharma told ‘The Navhind Times’ that two helicopters would be pressed into service initially, covering popular temples, historical fort, waterfall all within a radius of 15-20 kilometres, followed by a 10-15 minute aerial view of Goa. “We are optimistic that this new initiative will be well received and see tremendous demand in the days to come,” he said.
The helicopters will take off from Aguada helipad every day for a 10 minute joyride and priced at Rs 3,250 per passenger. Sharma said, “We do not want to just make money from the service. Presently, one can enjoy sight viewing from atop. Later we have planned inter-city connectivity from Panaji-Old Goa-Airport-Panaji and also connect to hotels and casinos that have helipad facility.”
While responding to a question, he said that plans regarding security arrangements of passengers and flying procedures as also handling the security of helicopters have been developed with the help of CISF and local police in line with DGCA norms.
Minster for Tourism Dilip Parulekar said, “Since we had launched hot air balloon service at Rs 4,000 each we have gathered good response from both the segments of tourism – high class and middle class tourists. Hence, we will ensure that heli-tourism not only attract high class but make it affordable for middle class tourists who wish to explore Goa in a short duration. We will also expand the services by opening up government helipads and constructing more helipads to boost tourism.”