With the Centre notifying that amphibious bus services could be used for commercial purposes, the much-awaited amphibious vehicle rides, Goa Duck Tours, is likely to be launched in the state by March-end.
“All necessary approvals have been received, both amphibious vehicles have been taken for maintenance and probably beginning of the next month we will start the short trial run and by March-end we will start the services for commercial use,” said Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) chairman Nilesh Cabral.
He said that while the amphibious rides will initially be carried out with two vehicles, the GTDC intends to bring in another six vehicles and add them to the fleet in a phased manner.
It may be recalled that in October 2016, Goa tourism department and GTDC had launched amphibious vehicle rides, in the state. The state, however, failed to get necessary permissions from various agencies concerned to start commercial service.
He informed that the state government has not spent any money in procuring the two buses. The buses have been built by ACGL in partnership with Australian firm by investing close to Rs 5 crore. The buses have the capacity to carry 32 passengers. He said that Goa government will get five per cent of the revenue generated through these services.
Cabral said that GTDC, tourism department and other government departments are in process of finalising the route where the amphibious bus services would be operated.
He said that the main aim is to showcase the natural and cultural treasures of Goa, and attract more tourists to the state through these adventure tourism activities.