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Santa Lucia’s launch heralds new era of eco-tourism in Goan backwaters

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Jan 06, 2008

Panaji - The Tourism Minister, Mr Francisco (Mickey) Pacheco today said that the inauguration of ‘Santa Lucia’, the luxury houseboat is the beginning of the eco-tourism in Goan backwaters as undertaken by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation.

“The houseboat is a typical Indian vessel and entirely designed with eco-friendly material like bamboo mat, areca nut tree leaves and coir,” he said, hoping that the beautiful houseboat will attract large number of tourists to the Siolim village and its surroundings.

Earlier, Mr Pacheco inaugurated the houseboat anchored in Chapora river, Siolim. The GTDC chairperson, Mr Shyam Satardekar, Corporation managing director, Mr Sanjit Rodrigues, the Siolim MLA, Mr Dayanand Mandrekar, the director of tourism, Mr Elvis Gomes and the Siolim sarpanch, Mr Silvester Fernandes were also present on the occasion.

Mr Satardekar, in his speech said that the eco-tourism which mainly comprises of taking the tourists to the villages and backwaters of Goa cannot flourish without the support of the locals.

He also informed that the GTDC proposes to put up more such houseboats in different Goan rivers, to popularise eco-tourism/ backwater tourism.

The GTDC chairperson further said that the GTDC intends popularising Sajini region in South Goa, as a hill station.

Mr Mandrekar, speaking on the occasion maintained that the Siolim village, although being beautiful, was not adequately promoted for tourism. “The launching of the `Santa Lucia’ houseboat will attract tourist in this area,” he hoped.

Mr Rodrigues, in the introductory remarks informed that the houseboat specially built by the architects from Kerala, would be run by the Goan crew.

The houseboat has three luxury rooms with attached bathrooms, spacious living area, a kitchen and two sun-decks, he added, informing that the rates per head ranges from Rs 3,500 to Rs 5,000.

Mr Rodrigues further informed that the tourists would be able to travel on the houseboat during the day as well as stay overnight. “They can also book the entire houseboat for holding events like private parties,” he pointed out.

“We propose to expand the GTDC’s foray into the backwater tourism,” he concluded.

The movement of the boat will be restricted to the Chapora river and adjacent backwaters. The tourists and other users of the houseboat will be able to travel up to Arambol beach, swim, fish in the backwaters at Colvale, and also cook the fish they have caught. In addition, massage facility has also been provided on the houseboat.

Santa Lucia’s launch heralds new era of eco-tourism in Goan backwaters

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