Is Goa looking inwards for tourism?
Goa is known as India’s favorite holiday destination and it has a lot to offer for its tourists. On World Tourism Day, it is time to introspect why hinterland tourism is yet to pick up in Goa, especially post the pandemic
Goa – the name of the destination is enough to bring to mind calmness and excitement at the same time. With much more than its swaying coconut trees and caressing beaches, international and domestic tourists find Goa very attractive. The beaches of Goa that covers nearly 101 kms of the coastline right from North to South is a great crowd puller. However, the land away from the coast too has so much more to offer with its scenic beauty and hinterland activities. There is more to explore with heritage sites, majestic temples and churches and amazing architecture. One can even experience activities like day trekking and night trekking.
Dr V Padhmanabhan, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management and chairperson of Give Goa at Goa Institute of Management, says, “Goa is currently still all about the beaches and that’s the perception of the visiting tourists. That’s what we need to change. In other words, we need to change this tourism mindset. The conversation about hinterland tourism has definitely started. The Government is actively trying to direct people’s attention to the precious nook and crannies of Goa. The students of Goa Institute of Management are conducting a ‘Give Goa’ project on Hinterland tourism in collaboration with CIIYI. Six students are currently working on the same. Through this project, we hope to add value to the common intentions. We are going to focus mainly on ecotourism which comes under the umbrella of hinterland tourism. People need to be knowledgeable about these remote areas in the state and also develop citizenship behavior and accountability. We, as a nation, need to protect what we have for future generations. We aspire to meet tourism officials and eventually present our research to the Government.”
“Goa is so much more than just the beaches, and also has a lot more to offer from the tourism perspective. Goa’s inherent beauty lies in its hinterland and rural landscape. But preserving these hinterlands is of extreme importance. Efforts need to be taken for promoting clean and green means of tourism to avoid our hinterlands turning into commercial spots. We conduct experiential tours on e-bikes that offer an immersive experience of the heritage and local culture of Goa while giving people first-hand experience of riding an e-bike,” says Sandeep Mukherjee, COO, and co-founder of BLive.
Madhav Sahakari of Sahakari Spice Farm in Ponda feels that hinterland tourism can also employ villagers who are illiterate and school drop-outs. “Something new has to be done in Goa tourism. The government should focus on tourism in the interiors of Goa as Goa is highly dependent on tourism. The pandemic taught everyone a lesson and it is time we take the necessary initiatives. Instead to funding other business and sectors, more emphasis should be on tourism. We are now receiving many domestic tourists from Goa and the rest of the country since we opened post Covid. We are doing well but not as good as before the pandemic. However, we helped sustain all 60 people employed at the farm for the one year and ten months of closure,” says Madhav Sahakari.
It is high time to find ways to intrigue the minds of tourists from around the world with better initiatives and adventurous trials into the heart of Goa.