PANAJI: The Minister for Tourism Rohan A Khaunte briefed the media regarding the Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026 in a press conference today at the Paryatan Bhavan, Patto, Panaji.
The briefing was held in the presence of Shri. Suneel, Anchipaka, IAS, Director of Tourism, Govt. of Goa, Michael Lobo, MLA of Calangute Constituency, Venzy Viegas, MLA of Benaulim Constituency, Alex Sequiera, MLA of Nuvem Constituency, Jit Arolkar, MLA of Mandrem Constituency and Cruz Cardoso, President of All Goa Shack Owners Association. The meeting was brought together to discuss critical aspects of the policy, with a strong emphasis on empowering the youth and relaxing the age limit.
The meeting aimed to provide deep insights into the comprehensive vision of the Goa State Shack Policy 2023- 2026, which emphasised on sustainable tourism development, environmental preservation, and boosting the local economy that will benefit our youth and contribute to the growth and development of our state. It also aimed to enhance the overall tourist experience while maintaining Goa’s rich cultural heritage.
Khaunte stated “Our main topic today revolves around the age limit and the pressing issue of subletting. We strongly believe that it is crucial to provide opportunities to young individuals who aspire to venture into the shack business and carry forward the rich experience of their families. Simultaneously, we are also committed to extending the same chance to those who solely rely on the shack business as their source of livelihood”
He said today, through this forum, we aim to inspire and encourage our esteemed shack community to wholeheartedly support and nurture the next generation, ensuring their seamless progression within this industry. Furthermore, he emphasised the importance of preserving and showcasing Goan cuisine at every shack, as the shack operators themselves have been vital ambassadors for our culture ever since the inception of shacks.
Suneel, Anchipaka, IAS, Director of Tourism, Govt. of Goa stated “ As the Director of Tourism, I am thrilled to announce our continued commitment towards developing Goa as a premier tourist destination. Through the new Shack Policy 2023-26, we aim to enhance infrastructure, promote sustainable practices, and offer unique experiences that showcase the rich culture and natural beauty of our beloved state.”
Under this groundbreaking policy, shack owners will enjoy several benefits, including the allowance of deck beds, tables, chairs, and picket fencing.
In an effort to stimulate economic growth and enhance visitor experiences, shack owners can now place deck beds, tables, and chairs within a larger area of 15 metres in front of their shacks.
The association has recently deliberated upon and embraced the relaxation of the age limit within the shack policy, incorporating its core ideals of inclusivity and community.
This relaxation of the age limit is a testament to the association’s commitment to celebrate diversity, encourages mentorship, and facilitates the exchange of knowledge and experiences.
This meeting presented a valuable opportunity for fruitful dialogues, idea exchanges, and collaborative efforts to enhance the tourism industry’s benefits for the youth, locals and tourists. By involving coastal MLAs in shaping tourism policies, the government ensured that the voices and perspectives of local representatives were heard and considered, leading to more inclusive and sustainable development for the State of Goa
The Shack Policy 2023-26 aims to revitalise and enhance Goa’s vibrant beach shack culture by creating opportunities for entrepreneurial growth and fostering a lively tourist experience. Recognizing the potential of the youth in contributing to the state’s tourism industry, Minister Khaunte emphasised the importance of including them in the decision-making process and offering them avenues for professional development.During the meeting, various coastal MLAs shared their valuable insights and suggestions regarding the policy.
Minister Khaunte expressed his enthusiasm for harnessing the ideas and energy of the youth, acknowledging their potential as catalysts for innovation and economic growth. He emphasised that relaxations in the age limit would not compromise the high standards set by the government regarding safety and service excellence. The goal is to strike a balance between maintaining quality control and fostering an environment for young entrepreneurs to thrive.
Michael Lobo, MLA of Calangute Constituency stated during the Press Conference “The shack policy should strive to preserve the natural beauty of our beaches while providing ample opportunities for tourism growth, creating a harmonious balance between development and conservation.”
Mr. Venzy Viegas, MLA of Benaulim Constituency shared his dedication to preserving the charm and cultural heritage of our coastal communities. By prioritising responsible development and creating opportunities for local businesses. He has an aim to strike a balance between tourism growth and the well-being of our residents, ensuring a harmonious coexistence.
Mr. Alex Sequiera, MLA of Nuvem Constituency: “I am committed to supporting initiatives that foster sustainable tourism and economic growth. By focusing on preserving our natural resources and promoting responsible tourism practices, we can create a vibrant and resilient community that benefits both residents and visitors.”
Jit Arolkar, MLA of Mandrem Constituency said “A well-crafted shack policy can enhance the cultural and economic vibrancy of our coastal communities, ensuring sustainable livelihoods for locals and memorable experiences for tourists, all while protecting our precious natural resources.”
Mr. Cruz Cardoso, President of All Goa Shack Owners Association emphasised on the empowerment of the policy stating “The shack policy should prioritise the empowerment of shack owners, enabling them to provide quality services and unique experiences to beachgoers, contributing to the overall charm and character of Goa’s coastline, while also fostering a collaborative and supportive environment within the industry.”
The Ministry of Tourism in Goa remains committed to inclusive growth, sustainability, and creating an enabling environment for the youth to embark on entrepreneurial ventures within the shack industry. The finalisation of the Shack Policy 2023-26, taking into consideration the inputs from the coastal MLAs and other stakeholders, will pave the way for Goa to maintain its position as a preferred tourist destination while providing opportunities for the younger generation to contribute actively.