Making Goa Tourism Tech centric

Forum of Incubation, Innovation, Research & Entrepreneurship (FiiRE) elaborates on their objective of reviving the tourism industry in Goa

With a population of 15 lakhs, Goa has nearly 80 lakh tourists visiting the state every year. And this being the case, tourism in Goa was obviously one of the worst hit sectors during the recent global pandemic.

FiiRE (Forum of Incubation, Innovation, Research & Entrepreneurship), an incubator based out of the Don Bosco Engineering College Campus, Fatorda, Goa, has been incubating product and manufacturing based startups since 2018. Post-pandemic they shifted their focus to Tourism Tech, with the objective of supporting a global need to revive the tourism industry.

At the First Incredible India International Cruise Conference organised by Union Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways in Mumbai, Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte said that the aim is to make Goa a tourism tech destination.

With the vision of making Goa the world’s top destinations for Tourism Tech startups by 2030, FiiRE, COO, Thejus Joseph believes that the first Goa Tourism Accelerator, a 16-week programme which was initiated in September 2021, is just the first step towards identifying and nurturing entrepreneurs who have innovative solutions to solve current tourism-related challenges. 

“Right now, it is our prerogative to build visibility, so that the right startups reach out to us – tech innovators should know that we are here to specially guide and mentor their technology-based answers to national and even global challenge areas, so that the tourism industry has solutions” Thejus added.

The focus areas of travel and hospitality, smart cities, mobility, cleantech, mediatech, waste management are all areas which will help enhance the travel experience for tourists, suppliers as well as the environment.

With the right partnerships in place – with government, academia as well as other eco-system enablers, FiiRE is geared to making TourismTech a strong startup sector.

The role of mentors is invaluable to any startup in early as well as late stages of their business growth. Their industry exposure and experience serve to cushion some of the common pitfalls that startups could face at various stages.

“Proof-of-concept testing is critical when a startup comes to us with a viable idea that can help uplift vital segments of the tourism-industry” said D S Prashant, CEO, FiiRE.
“For example, at the first Goa Tourism Accelerator Cohort, we identified REVIO as one of the startups to accelerate. REVIO is a revenue management company with advanced dynamic pricing technology, which strives to challenge the status quo in the hotel industry. With creative software and strategies, they turn around hotels and reposition them to outperform their competitors and become local market leaders.”

Another startup, TRAVSTACK, is a travel operating system that provides powerful SaaS tools to tour operators, travel agents and other travel businesses. Their product suite includes smart itinerary builder, online travel store with CMS, travel planning and a travel CRM with dashboard. Their solutions help travel professionals improve their turnaround time, boost brand identity and customer engagement.

Offbeat is an experiential travel company that promotes sustainable and immersive travel across India. They provide customers a unique perspective about travel to a destination with a wholly immersive travel experience, exploring local life and culture. They firmly believe that Indian villages are a huge repository of experiences for the immersive millennial traveller, and want to curate unique travel experiences across villages in India and make them the next sought after tourist destination.

It is interesting to note that TourismTech has a wide scope and the startups have identified areas that have applicability across various areas. Srishti Lifescience Private Limited, for e.g. has a made it their mission to create an eco-system of sustainable/eco-friendly, hygiene-assured, and healthy (enhanced) bottled water, at affordable pricing. They also empower the consumers to shift their choices, from single-use plastics to zero-waste packaging. The other startups that emerged from the first cohort are: Digitour, (Auxbrains Ventures Pvt Ltd) Momingly, Zodhya, Tyndis, Campper, Highway Delite, Instio,, Lokaso Media and10Times.

Each of these startups have unique ideas and business models that contribute in some manner, to ease the experience for either tourists, suppliers or the ecology of the area.

These startup entrepreneurs have emerged from a focused search, with specific criteria put in place, so that FiiRE can help accelerate their progress with the support of organisations like Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, Goa Technology Association, Goa Tourism Department and others. Similarly with support from corporates, they are able to provide startups with: mentorship on go-to-market strategies; piloting opportunities with government, access to investor network and proof-of-concept opportunities with partners.

Delivering programs to support entrepreneurs who are reshaping tourism for travellers, suppliers, and the environment, remains FiiRE’s core focus area over the next few years. They look ahead to forging strong collaborations with the tourism ecosystem to ensure the most potent combination of network, knowledge and funding to the startups that they choose to accelerate in the Tourism Tech space.

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