Summary of the meeting held by Centre for Responsible Tourism of the small and medium stake holders in tourism. Held on 11th June 2016 at Caritas Holiday Home Panjim
Goans must reclaim tourism as their space and product. It must develop with a distinct identity in order to prosper and develop. Goan tourism is being corporatized. Even GTDC is selling of its best assets to private sector big business.
CRT believes that another tourism is possible- one in which the benefits of tourism reach the local people and where the local people have direct say in tourism policy making and implementation.
CRT believes in a democratized tourism – decisions are bottom-up and not top-down. Through community, sectoral participation people will be the planners and decision makers
Plans of action:-
Support to local small and medium local stakeholders:
Small and Medium Guest Houses – implement the white paper drawn up in 2008 and add elements needed according to the present situation
Goan Taxi owners – Initiate a dialogue with TTAG and government and insists that ONLY local taxi operators will be allowed to provide tourist transport services. The import of taxis for any functions must have the acceptance of taxi unions in Goa (FATTOD and North Goa Tourist taxi owners). The idea of “rent a cab’ is not relevant to Goa and must be abandoned. The policy proposed to the government in 2008 must be accepted.
Shack owners- Government must accept the demands of the shack owners in toto- as submitted in 2008 and the revisions submitted from time-to-time since then.
The above must apply to water sports operators, life guards, entertainers, venue owners.
The government must be asked to reassign subsidies away from big business to small and medium sectors. Incentives should be offered to local Goans for business so that there is more benefit to the local economy.
Dependence on charter flights should be reduced and a system put in place designed by Small and medium stakeholders within a year. This system should be inter-dependent and benefit all local entrepreneurs.
The idea of so-called “theme parks” may not be feasible in the case of Goa because of the problem of space but Goa, may instead, offer heritage villages as “Thematic spaces” and Rural exploration which will offer relaxation, exploration, water-related experiences, fishing, local culture and music-food etc, and unique thrills.
CRT will promote nature tourism and wild life experiences in addition to pilgrimage tourism, monsoon tourism, occupations of Goa, houses of Goa, waterfalls, home stays in unique villages.
CRT will continuously create and manage innovative tourism products in connect with local populations.
CRT will work with local experts to train and equip each touristic village to manage garbage in a productive way
CRT will encourage environmental preservation and enhancement in all establishments
CRT will seek government intervention to award beach cleaning contracts to small entrepreneurs from Goa and avoid the huge mistake of giving political favours to contractors who feel no commitment to the risks of poor coastal management.
CRT will work to fight against child abuse in tourism- paedophilia and child labour.
CRT will fight to change Goa’s image as a sex tourism destination through a “Gender and Tourism” group which will also serve as a watchdog group in hot-spots and on internet.
CRT will work through training of Panchayat leaders to build tourism into the local governance system
CRT will serve as a rallying base to create unity among small and medium stakeholders and community people, churches, and others
CRT will lobby with government to guarantee that all key jobs in the public sector are given to Goans as a first preference
CRT will act to promote the idea of camping sites for tourists with lesser means
CRT will demand that a single window system by put in place for all types of industry both to make possible ease of business and cut out corruption
The current tax regime is too high and the levels of taxes on SMEs are unreasonable. Rather than tax the SMEs, we will demand subsidies and incentives.
Visa issuances will be based on a rational policy so that visas cannot be abused- tourist should be prohibited from doing business on their tourist visas.
With shack owners, CRT will lobby for having change rooms, showers, and toilets on the beach
CRT will lobby for a zero tolerance policy on drug abuse
CRT will demand for a Tourism Tribunal where unfair practices by competitors especially from the corporate and government can be challenged.
A “Legal Reference Team will be set up to assist those who are unjustly victimized by government.
Local communities should be encouraged and supported to carry out “Carrying Capacity” studies in their villages and then develop a citizen-Panchayat alliance to ensure compliance with the findings.
Crt will press for interventions when poor sewage management effects local communities.
Gimmicks of heli joy rides, amphibian bus, marinas, ferry wharfs at 11 places are proposed and an environmental assessment to be done with experts.
Crt will press for interventions when Noise pollution effects local communities