PANAJI: Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte has revealed that a new homestay and caravan policy will be launched within a month aimed at immersing travellers in the heart of Goa and allow them to experience its authentic traditions. The move will position the coastal state as a year-round destination that can be explored beyond its beaches and nightlife.
Speaking to PTI, Khaunte shared that the vision of ‘Goa Tourism 2.0’ will focus on prioritising quality over quantity and would promote responsible and sustainable practices that respect nature and align with local culture.
Minister Khaunte added that the new caravan policy of Goa Tourism would be implemented within a month.
Homestays will offer visitors an opportunity to experience the local culture, traditions, festivals, cuisine, and more, for which a memorandum of understanding has been signed with Airbnb. An official in the Goa tourism department explained that Airbnb will provide training and capacity building for property owners offering homestays.
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While the caravan policy will enable operators to offer recreational vans for tourists. Caravan parks will be established, which will provide amenities such as sanitation services and vehicle charging points.
Recently, the Directorate of Information, Publicity and Tourism (IP&T) in Andaman and Nicobar announced a similar move. Soon travellers to the islands will have the option to rent opulent caravans at stunning locales across the archipelago, an official statement read.
“Goa is a place rich in traditions, culture, delectable cuisine, warm hospitality, ecotourism opportunities, adventure prospects, and much more. We must weave these elements together,” he elaborated. Considering how Goa has been perceived primarily for its beaches and party life, we are now advocating Goa beyond beaches, the minister told PTI. This shift in perspective emerged in the post-COVID era when we realised that tourists are seeking tranquility and immersive experiences. “We need to focus on attracting quality tourists rather than just chasing numbers. Tourism is a crucial pillar of the state’s economy and employment, and a major contributor to the state’s industries.”
Speaking about the homestay policy, Khaunte explained that it aligns with the vision of ‘Goa beyond beaches’ and enables tourists to venture beyond the coastal regions and explore the culturally rich hinterland.
“This policy will take tourists deep into the heart of Goa, allowing them to immerse in the true traditions and culture of the region. In its initial phase, the policy will cover around 100 houses located in rural areas such as Bicholim. We expect to roll out this policy within a month, alongside the caravan policy of the tourism department,” the minister said and highlighting that approximately 60% of Goa’s land falls within the rural belt.
Highlighting the growing community of ‘digital nomads’ who seek remote working opportunities, Khaunte revealed that about 46 countries have been identified under this category. “Those who wish to work away from usual locations, need creative and high-quality spaces, which Goa naturally provides. We are in discussions with the central government to introduce a digital nomad visa for such tourists. If the proposal is approved, we will attract a new segment of long-term tourists, complementing the homestay policy.”