Goa will not have an 'off season' as far as tourism is concerned. The state tourism department has drawn out a proposal to attract tourists in the monsoons as well. It plans to sell "rain drops" to nature-loving tourists.
The idea to sell monsoon tourism package was floated in 1986 to attract travellers from the Gulf, but the concept did not quite take off. Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram had also suggested recently that the state must make efforts to attract tourists throughout the year.
The state is selling the dream of staying in the peace and quiet of the lush green hinterland from next month. "Goa has beautiful islands, waterfalls, lakes, dams and wildlife sanctuaries that can be enjoyed during the monsoons," said Elvis Gomes, former director of the state tourism department.
The tourism department has now decided to encourage hoteliers to announce 'special monsoon packages'. During these four months (off season) - from June to September - room rents for private and government-owned hotels fall significantly. Even the taxi rates come down quite a bit.
Foreign tourist traffic into the state has doubled to more than 200,000 a year over the past five years. The number of domestic tourists has gone up 300 per cent to more than 25 lakh (2.5 million), according to figures available with the tourism department.
Luizinho Faleiro, state industry minister said: "Goa's economic backbone is tourism and this industry needs to be boosted further. We have the potential to double the current tourist inflow during monsoons."
The central government has also assured the state government that it would support the state government's endeavour in this regard.
The state government is planning to offer Kerala ayurveda as a product, which has found takers in all the hotels across Goa.
The plan is to promote local feasts such as Sao Joao and Bonderam feast at the Divade Island across Old Goa held annually in August. The tourism department also plans to arrange special cultural programmes of Goan folk traditions every Saturday at the Kala Academy complex in Panaji for the tourists.Though the 'rain drops' would eventually be promoted world-wide, the tourism department hopes that the immediate tourist inflow will be domestic, mainly from West Bengal, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi.