Delayed high-end tourism projects may restart in Nov

The BJP government famous only to make announcements. Such big noise about the so called high end tourism projects, and the launches were were bigger. All the said projects are yet to see the light of day. Cabral only made big announcements. 

The question arises as to whether the locals even want this kind of tourism and who will this tourism benefit.

Three tourism services launched by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) two seasons ago are not likely to kickstart anytime before November. The services — amphibian buses, sea planes and helicopter rides — were introduced to promote tourism, but are yet to become commercially operational.

GTDC chairman Nilesh Cabral said they couldn’t proceed with the services mainly because of inordinate delays in getting permissions. GTDC plans to restart helicopter rides by using the government-owned helipad at Ela, Old Goa, for which it will require to take all permissions afresh.

Cabral said a host of permissions were required to be obtained including one from the Union ministry of road, surface and transport for the amphibian bus service.

While permissions from local government departments were received, a nod from the Union ministry is awaited. Cabral said a team from the Union ministry will visit Goa to inspect amphibious buses before issuing permission to operate amphibious vehicles.
Cabral said he has also written to Nitin Gadkari, union minister for road, surface and transport requesting him look into the matter.

 “We are looking at October-November to finally start this service,” said Cabral.

A sea plane service is another project of the GTDC that has remained grounded. It was aimed at niche tourists, but GTDC’s plan floundered after the selected agency failed to start the service on time.

 Cabral said that the government is in the process of selecting a new agency to run the service when tourism season starts in October-November.
Helicopter rides were discontinued by the end of the 2015 season after GTDC was compelled to move them to South Goa due to opposition by Candolim locals.