Published on : Friday, November 24, 2017
After facing opposition to certain new tourism activities in north Goa which were introduced during the last two tourist seasons, the Goa tourism development corporation (GTDC) wants to move them to South Goa.
Motorized paragliding is one such activity. Introduced at Mandrem beach in 2016, it was stopped after facing objections from local residents. GTDC chairman Nilesh Cabral said that they now plan to introduce motorized paragliding at Quitol, Quepem, at the location used for conducting Defexpo 2016.
“If all goes well, we will start it from this season itself. I’m already in touch with the opposition leader and Quepem MLA Chandrakant Kavalekar,” said Cabral.
The GTDC chairman also said that there is a lot of scope for developing Sanguem and Quepem as ecotourism hubs. Shri Chandranath Bhoothnath Temple, situated on the 350m-high Chandranath hill at Paroda, Quepem, has been attracting tourists, along with the botanical garden in Sanguem taluka.
Cabral said that Curchorem needs to be developed in terms of tourism since it serves as an entry point and has a railway station catering to the other two talukas. When asked if tourism services will gain popularity if launched in the south, Cabral said, “Certainly, there is a scope. If we offer a bunch of services located in three talukas, why wouldn’t tourists visit these locations?”
GTDC has already planned Rs. 25 crores for developing infrastructure facilities in the three talukas. The hot air ballooning service which was launched from Calangute two seasons ago, was shifted to Curchorem, after some villagers opposed the activity. “The initial response was weak, but the service picked up subsequently,” said Cabral.
The helicopter service was shifted to South Goa after Calangute locals opposed it as soon as it was launched at the Fort Aguada helipad in January 2016. However, in spite of announcements last season, GTDC was unable to kick-start the rides even as it planned to relocate the service to North Goa.