PANAJI: While World Tourism Day will be celebrated globally across nations on 27th September, the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), in collaboration with SKAL Goa and Goa Tourism, are gearing up for a day-long celebration with a spate of events and activities lined up which will be open to all without a fee.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, govt officials, bureaucrats, tourism stakeholders and other dignitaries will be attending the celebration.
“Keeping in mind this year’s global theme ‘Rethink Tourism’, TTAG has planned the celebration differently by organising several events, including an e-bike rally, heritage walks across the state, culinary contests and more. We want to showcase the varied offerings that the state has to offer beyond the obvious choices,” said Nilesh Shah, President of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG).
“This is a great opportunity to bring all the tourism stakeholders and the Government on one platform wherein the support can contribute to making the coming tourist season a success and be more resilient to face challenges ahead. The celebration marks the start of the tourism season with international charters set to arrive. With the upgraded infrastructure, Goa is set to have a sizable share of the domestic pie,” he added.
The World Tourism Day celebrations will commence with a mini rally. The rally will be flagged off from Dona Paula circle to Miramar and back. The rally will have only non-fuel based vehicles including bicycles, e-bikes, and electric vehicles.
Explained Shekhar Divadkar, SKAL President of Goa “The events are focused on Sustainable Tourism. The EV rally magnifies the relevance of the steps being taken and drives home the message of adopting a sustainable approach”.
Simultaneously, to soak in the history of the culturally rich state, walking tours will be organised in Margao, Panaji, Old Goa, and Saligao during the day. The tours will highlight the rich history and heritage of the state.
Goa is a culinary destination which has diverse offerings. Cidade de Goa, along with the Institute of Hotel Management Goa and in collaboration with TTAG, are organising a culinary contest for students of hospitality and home-based foodpreneurs. An eminent set of jury members will select the winners of the contest.
Tourism stakeholders, along with the Honourable Chief MinisterMinister of Goa and other dignitaries, will converge at the Taj Hotel and Convention Centre to discuss and deliberate on the future of tourism in the state and its potential growth in the near future. Traditional folk dances, which are unheard of in tourism circles such as lamp dance , goff, zagor,ghode modni, madragoa and veer bhadra will be performed.
Speaking about public transport and the challenges faced by tourists who arrive into the state, Shekhar added, “To shift towards lesser use of fuel and carpooling, TTAG encourages tourists and locals to use e-bus services for airport transfers which are presently available at the airport. There are shuttle bus services being offered from the airport to Panjim, Calangue, Margao and Cavelossim at a nominal rate of INR 200. This initiative also helps to reduce the burden of road and other connectivity issues.