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G20 events will boost tourism sector further in Goa: CM Pramod Sawant

Dubbed as 'Pearl of the Orient', Goa's scenic beaches, sunny skies and sand draw tourists by hordes from various parts of the country and abroad

Pramod Sawant

Pramod Sawant, Chief Minister, Goa (Photo: PTI)

Press Trust of India Panaji
The G20 events hosted in Goa has offered the coastal state an opportunity to showcase its natural beauty and rich cultural heritage to the world which will boost its tourism sector in the long run, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant has said.
Dubbed as 'Pearl of the Orient', Goa's scenic beaches, sunny skies and sand draw tourists by hordes from various parts of the country and abroad.
The coastal state just hosted two back-to-back crucial G20 events -- fourth Tourism Working Group (TWG) meeting (June 19-20) and Tourism Ministerial meeting (June 21 -22), taking the total number of G20 meetings hosted so far in Goa to seven, while two more G20 events are slated to take place here in July.
"We are hosting altogether nine meetings of the G20, Sawant said in an interaction on the sidelines of the meetings.
Addressing a gathering of G20 delegates here in the inaugural session of the fourth and final TWG meeting of the influential bloc, he said the crucial meeting would ensure in shaping a roadmap for sustainable tourism and promoting international cooperation.
At the end of the two tourism track events, a Goa Roadmap and Action Plan and ministerial outcome document was also released.
Five inter-related key priorities of the G20 tourism track, including green tourism, digitalisation and destination management, were "endorsed by all G20 countries" for achieving sustainable, resilient and inclusive growth in the sector, officials said on June 21.
"We have got the opportunity to host altogether nine G20 meetings. The preparations that we have done for the G20... we have entirety changed...Goa. We are focused on our culture, heritage, and spiritual and wellness tourism," Sawant told PTI here.
Asked about the impact of the G20 events on Goa and its overall profile, he said, "Definitely after the G20 meetings, the state will be on the world map. At present, the tourism sector is on the world map, and it will give further boost to wellness and spiritual tourism in Goa.
He also said that many private sector entities are ready to invest in cruise tourism in Goa.
Two dedicated sessions on cruise tourism were held as part of side events on June 19.
After the conclusion of the ministerial meeting, a group pf G20 delegates on June 22 visited the historic Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa, a UNESCO world heritage site that also holds the holy relics of St Francis Xavier.
The delegates also visited Museum of Christian Art (MoCA), ancient Mangeshi Temple in Ponda, and a Portuguese-era mansion built in 1590 where a grand luncheon was hosted for them, as the G20 Tourism Ministerial Meeting concluded successfully in Goa.
Underling that the meeting was taking place in Goa, one of the major tourist attractions in India, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a recorded video message, to delegates at the inaugural session of the ministerial meeting had urged them to take out some time from their serious discussions and explore the natural beauty and the spiritual side of the state.
Sawant said the G20 events give an opportunity for Goa to showcase the heritage and culture of the state. And, being a tourist place, it is an opportunity to showcase our Goa as a whole to the G20 countries, he said.
G20 delegates were welcomed on a red carpet at the airport and hotels with traditional Goan music and dance, sea shells-made garlands, and local beverage 'kokum'.
The gala dinners hosted at some of the luxurious hotels in Goa were complemented with vibrant cultural performances, in which many delegates also joined in.
Sawant, in his address, to the delegates at the opening session of the TWG meeting said, "As we gather here today in Goa under the theme 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam', we embark on a collective journey towards a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous world by urging to embrace the diversity of our planet and work together towards 'One Earth, One Family, One Future'.
The COVID-19 pandemic and challenges it brought have highlighted the importance of developing resilient practices in the tourism industry, the chief minister added.
He also spoke on reinventing the Goa tourism after the pandemic that had broken the back of the sector globally since its outbreak in 2019, grounding flights and bringing operations of hotels and other establishments of the hospitality industry to a grinding halt.
"Goa, being the first state in India, to receive the global safe travel stamp from the WTTCII, is committed in reinventing its tourism sector after the pandemic in a more responsible manner," the chief minister added.
He emphasised that through collaborative efforts aimed at promoting sustainable tourism practices to ensure that rich natural resources and environment are preserved for generations to come, "our state has been instrumental in developing tourism infrastructure for private investors to enhance the tourism offerings, in turn benefiting tourists".
Moreover, the state has been instrumental in developing a forward looking Tourism Master Plan to enable strategic and sustainable development of tourism industry, Sawant said while sharing the dais with Union Tourism Minister G Kishan Reddy, Minister of State for Tourism and Ports, Shipping and Waterways S Y Naik, and Minister of State for Defence and Tourism Ajay Bhatt.
"We actively engage in conservation efforts to protect our natural resources, including our beaches, forests, and wildlife sanctuaries. We encourage eco-friendly practices among our hospitality industry, promote waste management initiatives, and educate tourists about the importance of preserving our environment," he asserted.
Goa also has been introducing new tourism services such as e-bicycle tours, hanging and floating restaurants, adventure activities like bungee jumping, showcasing freedom struggle at the Marque Aguada Lower Fort Central Jail, spiritual tours, and various experiential tours offering unique and unforgettable moments for tourists, Sawant said.
"May our discussions be fruitful, our collaborations be enduring, and our shared vision of a prosperous and inclusive world be realised. Let us utilise this platform to forge alliances, share best practices, and collectively work towards a future where our global family can thrive together," he added.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Jun 26 2023 | 12:09 PM IST

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