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'Bad marketing hits foreign tourist inflow in Goa'

Posted on Feb 26 2014 | IANS

Panaji, Feb 26 : Goa is not marketed properly and therefore attracts low-end foreign tourists, stated a pre-budget memorandum submitted by the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) here Wednesday to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

The memorandum also recommended investing in medical tourism and suggested starting a Goa Debit Card which would offer a range of discounts to tourists.

"Goa is ranked as one of top 10 tourist destinations in the world. However, Goa is not marketed properly," the document said.

It also expressed disappointment that out of 2.5 million tourists, "the international tourists are just about 0.3 million. It is mostly low end international tourists that come to Goa".

The memorandum also recommended setting up of a convention centre, boating avenues, marinas, golf, theme and amusement parks to project Goa as a lifestyle tourism destination.

"Focus and support for diversified high-end tourism like water based tourism, yachts, boats and non-beach watersports. Consider possibilities for subsidizing import of boats, yachts, and other equipment required for this," the GCCI suggested.

It urged the Goa government to offer tax concessions to holidayers by introducing the Goa Debit Card, "which will offer discounts to tourists - this will also help bringing in various outlets, particularly in the coastal belt, under tax net".

Goa could also do well if looks to medical tourism and tap the potential offered by the growing sector.

"The medical tourists will not only energise the tourism sector but will also catalyse investments into hospitals, pharmacies and diagnostic labs," it said and recommended setting up of an independent body to submit a time-bound report on the prospect.

Goa annually attracts three million tourists.

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