Green tourism finds acceptance on Goa’s shores

Cruise operations are one of the two activities at Mormugao Port in Goa; coal handling by Adani, JSW and Vedanta among others, form the second arm of operations

As the second wave of the COVID pandemic dies down and the country witnesses a gradual re-opening of activities, one sector is already raring to go. Tourism is one of key sectors driving the services industry in India and accounted for nearly 39 million jobs i.e., 8 per cent of the total employment. Tourism and travel made up 6.8 per cent of India’s GDP in 2019 and will go even higher. In fact, by 2029 the sector is expected to grow by 6.7 per cent and reach USD 488 billion whilst accounting for 9.2 per cent of the total economy.

Backed by such impressive figures, the tourism industry is expected to pick up the pieces as the country re-opens after a lengthy suspension of all economic activities for a year and a half, albeit with some drastic changes. Green tourism has become a novel trend that is overtaking the tourism business worldwide and has found takers in India too. Goa, one of the most famous tourist hotspots in India, is witnessing this first hand.

Cruise operations are one of the two activities at Mormugao Port in Goa; coal handling by Adani group goa, JSW and Vedanta among others, form the second arm of operations. Even before cruise season kicked off in the coastal state, the Goa Tourism and Development Corporation (GTDC) launched an Electric Vehicle (EV) initiative. The initiative is expected to promote green vehicles while educating tourists on the benefits of responsible eco-tourism. It paves the way for the establishment of a sustainable tourism ecosystem.

The former Portuguese colony is heavily dependent on tourism to make ends meet – 16 per cent of the state’s GDP is derived from it. The industry also employs over 40 per cent of the total workforce, with an even greater number being indirect beneficiaries of the sector. Although iron ore mining was another profitable sector, the government’s decision to shut it down back in 2012 has shifted the focus primarily on tourism. Mormugao Port was a leader in iron ore exporting ports in 2010-11 with almost 54.50 million metric tonnes of the ore shipped overseas. After mining activities grinded to a halt in Goa, coal handling by Adani and JSW, in lieu of them being port operators, have been operating at a slower pace.

The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has also green-lit chartered tourism for foreign tourists who wish to visit the coastal state. This is a huge positive for the state’s tourism and hospitality industry which have been mired in the bog until now. Around 3.5 million domestic tourists visited Goa’s famed beaches since September 2020, and the number will only increase now that foreign tourists have been given permission too. (Also read: adani coal project goa)

Goa’s Tourism Department is determined to make the best of opportunities coming its way. Plans are already underway to revitalize the flagging economy with diversification and promotion of eco-tourism taking precedence. If everything goes according to plan, Goa’s tourism industry will be riding the waves in no time.

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Christophe Rude

Christophe Rude

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