Over Rs 2 crore spent in 2016-18 on junkets to promote tourism

Tax payers money to promote shopping trips for Nilesh Cabral and his cronies what is the real outcome of attending these fairs and travel marts?


The state government has spent over Rs 2 crore during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 financial years on participating in international travel marts and road shows to promote tourism in the state. While tourism minister Manohar Azgaonkarattended events in Paris and Moscow, GTDC chairman Nilesh Cabral was part of an event in Moscow, and GTDC managing director Nikhil Dessai attended shows in US, Canada and London.

Goa spent an amount of Rs 1.48 lakh to participate in the international tourism exhibitions and road shows during the year 2016-17 and Rs 87 lakh was spent during the current year as space booking charges at various such events itself. The actual amount to be borne by the state is likely to be much higher as for the 2017-18 events, the bills have not yet been submitted.

Responding to the question tabled by Margao MLA Digambar Kamat in the ongoing assembly, chief minister Manohar Parrikar said that necessary permissions were taken from the Union home ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office before the foreign trips were undertaken by the state ministers and officials.

After attending the OTDYKH Leisure in Moscow in September 2016, officials in their report said that it was an effort to increase the number of Russians coming to Goa, which has seen a decline. “The major tourism products which generated interest among Russian buyers include ayurveda therapy, yoga, beach tourism, adventure sports, wildlife, and Goan cuisine,” they state in the report.

Officials attended the IFTM Top REsa 2017 in Paris and stated in their report, ‘There are no charter flights from France. Most queries were from smaller groups of 5 to 10 people seeking a customized package. GTDC may arrange a wholesome package.’