The Goan industry on Monday, voiced its opposition to the new Goa Tourism Policy 2020, and sought to defer its implementation until the month end by which time various industry associations in the state expect to collate inputs from members and come up with suggestions.
Seeking time until November 30, 2020, for the deferral of the tourism policy, the industry said that, on no condition the policy should be implemented without taking their inputs. Industry also urged the government to not constitute the proposed Goa Tourism Board (GTB) until issues are jointly discussed.
The three industry associations, viz. the CII-Goa, the TTAG and the GCCI that together represent virtually all businesses in the state said that, they were dissatisfied with the tourism policy and “no immediate decisions relating to tourism and having long-term impact must be taken by the government while the tourism board is in the process of being formulated.”
Industry also objected to the move of the tourism department to float a tender for appointing a public relation firm to promote its activities while the tourism board is not constituted.
“We feel this (appointing PR agency) should be the function of the Tourism Board,” said members of industry.
Industry sources revealed that, a joint representation on issues in the tourism policy was submitted to the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, on November 12, and expectations were that he would address the same.
“On the contrary the very next day, viz November 13, the Chief Minister said that the policy will be notified without considering our memorandum. It is made us fearful that the government will not take action on our concerns,” said the source.
The joint representation said that, since the Goa Tourism Policy has been in the making for almost two decades it must be formulated in a sustainable and balanced manner so as to shape the future of tourism in the state for decades to come.
“The Goa Tourism Board will play a crucial role in decision making with regard to the implementation and functioning of this policy. It is therefore be of utmost importance that the policy is formulated comprehensively and the proposed tourism board has a balanced representation of all key stakeholders in the trade, to facilitate sound decision making for the betterment of the tourism in the state,” says the memorandum submitted to the Chief Minister last week.
The Goa Tourism Policy 2020, was announced on October 14, however the actual document was available for study only 10-12 days after the announcement.
Members of the three industry associations will be meeting today (Tuesday) to further discuss the proposals outlined in the tourism policy.