The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) organized Conference on Marine Tourism: The India Opportunity today in Goa.
Mr Atreya Sawant, Chairman, CII Goa State Council, at his opening remark said Marine Tourism should be done at sustainable way and ‘’that is our continuing mission in this sector’’.
The marine tourism industry in Goa comprises of water sports, pleasure boat cruises for picnics, SCUBA diving, snorkeling, line fishing and dolphin watching. Diving is largely centered on the coral reefs present at Grande island, Vasco as are picnic cruises, while dolphin watching takes place mainly at Sinquerim bay, Aguada, with boats plying from four registered jetties and from different beaches.
Prof Sutheeshna Babu, National Institute of Watersports, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India said Watersports is spreading fast in India and specially in Goa which is the fast diversification in the leisure and it is also fast evolving adventure education.
RAdm Shekhar Mittal, Vice-Chairman, CII Goa State Council and Chairman & Managing Director, Goa Shipyard Ltd said being a key destination for domestic as well international tourists, significant potential for development of Marine tourism exists in Goa and with improving infrastructure and visibility, the western coast of India is being considered by overseas sailors as a sailing and yachting destination.
Responding to this increased market attractiveness, several government entities and private investors have initiated plans to develop suitable infrastructure facilities such as marinas and cruise terminals. He also added that CII will come out with a white paper on Marine Tourism in consultation with all the stakeholders which can be represented to government.
During the Panel discussion on Global Trends in Marine Tourism and Opportunities for India it was highlighted Sustainable development of Goa’s inland waterways.
These extensive water ways have served as Goa’s trade and commerce lifelines for centuries. The revival and rejuvenation of these waters through sustainable tourism development should our key focus.
Formulation of safety and security regulations in line with scientific studies, and subsequent adherence by operators was seen as a key enabler for growth of inland waterway tourism products. Key trends in the industry such as utilization of efficient and minimal environmental impact vessels were discussed by the panel.
At the session ‘Exploring Goa’s Beaches and Riverways for Tourism’ it was discussed promoting growth in nautical tourism with minimal impact on the local environment and people were presented at the conference.
With rising interest in nautical tourism, it is important that stakeholders understand the key components of nautical tourism, to become proactive in responding to demand.
The conference provided an avenue for operators in the state to imbibe best practices and key national as well as international trends in the sector. The conference shed light on the important role of facilitation played by the Government.
The various tourism products discussed are expected to promote inclusive development of the local economy in tandem with creating new recreation avenues for the discerning traveler.