Goa hankers for Gurgaon-type lakeside theme park

Panaji, March 22 : Gurgaon's "Kingdom of Dreams" might just inspire Goa to create a lakeside theme park of its own, if one were to go by a statement in the state legislative assembly Friday by Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar.

Parulekar said his ministry was considering setting up a theme park spread over one lakh sq metres near the picturesque Mayem lake, located 30 km from here.

"There is a proposal with the government for a theme park. We are planning to go ahead with the project. An RFP (request for proposal) will be issued soon. Goa needs a project like this," Parulekar said.

The minister was speaking during discussion on a private member's bill tabled by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) minister Vishnu Wagh, who said Goa desperately needed a project like Gurgaon's "Kingdom of Dreams" project to promote tourism in the beach-tourism state.

"Goa needs a theme park which can be a major tourist attraction and shall have different entertainment venues like multi-dimensional Bollywood plays, food courts, water-world and light and sound shows in order to provide entertainment to tourists and thus fetch considerable revenues for the state," Wagh said.

"I remember a trip to the Gurgaon park which can be a great model for Goa to boost its tourism, especially when revenues are down due to the mining ban," Wagh said.

"In Goa, tourists come on a package. On day one they go to north Goa and on day two to south Goa. On the third day itself, they don't know what to do," Wagh said.

Parulekar said that one of the biggest threats to Goa were rival tourist destinations which were "poaching" on Goa's tourists.

"We have a big question before us. Kerala, Maharashtra and Karnataka are taking away tourists from Goa. Even other international destinations like Sri Lanka and Thailand are a threat," Parulekar said.

Goa's beaches annually attract 2.5 million tourists, out of which half a million are foreigners.

--IANS (Posted on 22-03-2013)

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