The Tourism Department has great plans for State tourism including the appointing of a Project Management Unit and the developing of the Waterfall Circuits, an initiative by the Department of Forest
Goa as a tourist destination attracts a vast amount of foreigners and travellers seeking a delightful experience in the coastal state. The ever growing number of tourists compiled with the responsive need for development and improvement in the tourism sector has called for a series of projects to be proposed and perhaps passed in order to render the State higher up on the tourism scale.
The Goa Tourism Board (GTB), recognising the need for a significant amount of tourism development, has taken up a multitude of projects for the improvement as well as upgrade of the sector.
The goals set have called for strenuous efforts on the part of the Tourism Department, especially the GTB, and have garnered quite the attention upon the State and anticipation by its people.
However, a helping hand was required for the GTB thereby bringing about a need for some project management support.
The Project Management Unit (PMU)
The Tourism Department, comprehending the demanding efforts that the plans taken up by the GTB call for, has decided on the appointment of a Project Management Unit (PMU) for a period of three years during which it will actively support the GTB and provide assistance with a significant amount of tasks.
The PMU will provide infrastructure support and monitoring on tourism projects as well as assistance in statistics and data analytics. The Unit is to also provide aid to the Board in matters of marketing and public relations along with its involvement in effective planning and chalking of strategy for the implementation of the Goa Tourism Master Plan (GTMP). Along with the infrastructure gap analysis for the tourism and allied sector in the State, the Tourism Department has stated that the PMU will also assist in proposals for various projects like hotels, integrated master plans, tourism development, water-based and land-based recreation projects, interior and landscaping, among many other tasks.
The Goa Tourism Board is to also be aided by the Unit in undertaking market demands and site analysis for new tourism projects. Moreover, the implementation of the upcoming projects taken up by the Board requires the acquisition of land, acquisition of property, the management of existing assets and properties of Goa Tourism, as well as the planning and monitoring of trunk infrastructure and tourism infrastructure. The scope of the Unit’s aid covers these tasks as well.
The Tourism Department has also stated that the PMU will provide support to the GTB in planning, collecting, compiling, and assessing the statistics and other data necessary for the tourism projects of the State. Alongside this, it will also interpret tourism data such that the GTB has at its disposal – information showcasing logical insights and indicators required for tourism planning and implementation of the projects that the Board has undertaken.
However, the PMU’s list of tasks do not end with these, rather, they go on to cover the evaluation and prioritisation of the initiatives included in the GTMP which are aimed at tourism development in Goa. Further, the PMU is also tasked with the facilitation of the implementation of these initiatives and in turn the devising of required action plans for the same. It is also to have a hand in the planning as well as promotion of digital interventions including the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), and more in the tourism and other allied sectors including hospitality and technology.
Finally, the Project Management Unit is also to play an assisting role to the GTB in the finalisation of branding plans and marketing strategies for tourism. It is to manage public relations alongside the appointed PR agency and is to also manage the activities of the agency. The Unit is to do this in addition to the setting of procedures and finalisation of the standards with regards to tourism projects. Improvement of Goa Tourism’s digital marketing presence, its website management, mobile application and customer grievances also fall under the tasks of the PMU.
Waterfall Circuits for Goa
As efforts are being made to develop and upgrade tourism in the State, many projects have been decided upon as a means of achieving the same. Among the many initiatives is the Waterfall Circuits project.
The ‘Waterfall Circuits’ project aims to promote tourism in the Goan hinterland, making it more attractive for travellers and nature lovers seeking a great trailing and exploration experience
The arrival of the monsoon brings with itself the regeneration of a number of waterfalls located in the forests of Goa that are rendered relatively dry during the summers. The revival of these waterfalls is known to lure hundreds of visitors seeking an exploration of these areas. The adventure these falls bring does not only pull in Goans but also people across the State borders, especially from Karnataka and Maharashtra, Goa’s geographically close neighbours.
Hence, the ‘Waterfall Circuits’ project aims to promote tourism in the Goan hinterland, making it more attractive for travellers and nature lovers seeking a great trailing and exploration experience. The Forest Department, in collaboration with the Goa Forest Development Corporation (GFDC), has planned on the inclusion of local communities in the establishment of the circuits. In fact, the project approval is said to be currently underway bringing about expectations for the results of the same.
The proposal envisages professional guided excursions for visitors undertaking the trail, basic eco-friendly logistical amenities, and other safety arrangements necessary for the excursion. The proposal also includes that the group of visitors will be accompanied by healthcare experts in order to assure immediate care in case of any minor injuries. Another noteworthy aspect highlighted is the employment opportunities that the ‘Waterfall Circuits’ project will generate.
The implementation of the circuits is sure to provide jobs to the Goan youth thereby benefiting the State on both levels, economic as well as social. According to Vishwajit Rane, Forest Minister of Goa, there are plans to introduce jungle safaris, overnight campsites, night trails and more for the explorers willing to partake in trail walking. The plans have already been discussed with the Union Minister and the project is said to go on in collaboration with the central government.
The initiative for such animal safaris has been inspired from similar safaris developed in Kevadia in Gujarat. “Following in the footsteps of an animal safari developed in Kevadia, we sought advice from the Union Minister to work closely with the Ministry in the development of a state-of-the-art animal safari in Goa,” Rane stated.
The ‘Waterfall Circuits’ plan, hence, is likely to provide a new feat for Goa tourism and garner more attention to the State as efforts are made by the Tourism Department, the Forest Department and other allied sectors for the development and improvement of tourism. Tourism has been an area of focus in the plans made by the government and the multiple projects proposed including the Project Management Unit and the Waterfall Circuits are all part of the manifestation of the great Master Plan prepared for the furthering of Goa Tourism.