A source said the issue was discussed at Goa Tourism Development Corporation’s (GTDC) board meeting last month, and it was suggested that a consultant be appointed to identify potential beaches, and accordingly, build facilities to pitch them for certification. In fact, Goa stands a chance to become the first state in the country to fly a blue flag.
Francisco Braganca, former president of the Travel and Tourism Association (TTAG), said, “So far, there is no beach in India that has been awarded Blue Flag certification. But it is an uphill task to obtain the certification.”
TTAG president Savio Messias said, “Blue Flag certification will surely help increase tourist footfalls. Many international travellers, before deciding on a holiday destination, check if the beaches there have Blue Flag certification.”
A tourism stakeholder, who did not wish to be identified, said, “Over the last few years, some of Goa’s beaches have deteriorated. The Calangute and Candolim beaches are worst hit.”