Goa puts tourist safety as number one priority

Goa’s new tourism minister, Manohar Azgaonkar, has outlined his priorities for tourism this year with safety and security of tourists topping the list. He has said, “We have set the agenda for tourism in Goa, with safety and security of tourist being our number one priority for the tourism department. The Goa government through the Home department is augmenting  budgets  for improving  safety and security measures in the state keeping in mind  the tourism  industry and the importance of providing  a safe  holiday for tourists visiting Goa.” From 27.88 lakhs tourist arrivals in 2012, the number went up to 63.30 lakhs arrivals in 2016 reflecting an increase of 44 per cent in both domestic and foreign arrivals to the state. Of this, almost 6.80 lakhs are international tourists. The e-tourist visa alone contributed to one lakh tourists arrivals a year, with other arrivals by luxury cruise vessels, charters. While security measures  have been  augmented over the years at the  Goa airport,  security measures at the State borders have  also been tightened giving tourists a sense of  surety  on the safety cover  available  in the State  right from point  of arrival. Safety measures at hotels, tourist spots and across the state is visible and increasing substantially. A  safety  and security cover on the beach through a 100 odd IRB force,  more than  600 lifeguards, special women taxi services  and  CCTV cameras at  several tourist locations  have  added  more impetus on safety measures in the state. The State government through the Department of Tourism have availed of  funds  under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for installing CCTV cameras  on the beach belt. The first phase  which covers  Sinquerim to Keri  is already in progress  of installations  of the surveillance systems  and  the second  phase covering Panjim to Canacona is awaiting approvals and  will be  implemented  as soon as  the same  is  obtained. Special control rooms for monitoring the CCTV footage will be set up at Tourist Information Centers at various locations  identified. To monitor beach activities at shacks, CCTVs will be made mandatory for all shacks operating on the beaches.

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