Two years after its first presence in Milan and Rome, Goa Tourism has returned to Italy to present the latest developments in its territory to Milan tour operators and the press.
The delegation of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) was led by Sheo Pratap Singh, IAS Secretary of PWD, Transport & Tourism for the Government of Goa; Gavin Dias, General Manager of Hotels, Marketing & Cruises for GTDC; and promoter Lloyd Monteiro, Managing Director of Purplive, a property of Alica Purple Avenues.
Goa, the name given by the Portuguese who dominated the region for 450 years, is the smallest state of India in terms of area and the fourth in terms of population. It is located on the west coast of India in the region known as Konkan. It borders Maharashtra to the north and whose capital is Mumbai, and to Karnataka to the east and south.
The capital of the state is Panaji, and Vasco da Gama, commonly known as Vasco, is the most populous city. The economic capital is Margao, an ancient city that has numerous traces of Portuguese colonization.
With these data, Gavin Dias begins to explain the characteristics of the small state that is hardly noticed on the map of the sub-continent custodian of man-made architectural treasures – mainly churches, including that of St. Francis, the holy icon of Goa and a legacy of the long Portuguese domination. Here, the Goans live in harmony with the religions and creeds of the Indian territory.
The attractions in Goa are plentiful, and tourists can count on renowned beaches, diving areas, nature reserves with turtles and crocodiles, circuits for visiting temples, spice forests, mini cruises, and for the time-free wonder of exploring the numerous markets even at night and attending the many festivals.
For fans of gambling, there are the casinos. Goa is the only Indian state where gambling is legal. This corner of “Incredible India” ranks 50th among the destinations in Asia.
Here are a few more exclusive words from the head of the delegation:
Mr. Sheo, Goa Tourism’s plans intend to develop its image among the Italians to improve their presence in Goa. What other cities do you intend to visit after Milan?
On this occasion, only Milan. A starting point to announce our interest in the Italian market. We plan to return to Italy in 2019 with a more extensive program of visits.
What sectors of the market do you intend to promote besides leisure tourism, for example, business travel, congress and conventions, the wedding market, etc.?
Tourism as a recreational activity and the beaches are our main objectives, [along with] business tourism, the congress tourism extended to all MICE activities, and the one concerning specific events such as religious tourism.
How many congress and convention structures are available in GOA and what are the hosting capacity of the major ones?
Right now, we have convention centers only within 5-star hotels, but large capacity convention centers at the international level are planned for the near future and will soon be available.
Do you have in store specific promotional activities aimed at tour operators to stimulate their interest to be passed on to customers towards their destination?
In this regard, we have commissioned our PR agency in Goa to develop projects and collaborate with representatives in Italy and in Europe.
Is your agency aware of the Italian television program on tourism at the Falde del Kilimangiaro?
I’m not sure, but I’m personally interested in receiving in-depth information on this initiative from the organizers, and after its screening, propose it to our PR agent for their evaluation.
How many Italians have visited Goa to date?
I do not have the statistics with me, but I think they are around 2,000.
Any survey conducted to know the level of appreciation or negativity of Italian tourists in Goa?
No survey so far. But our observers have noted the high appreciation of our beaches, the territory, the variety of cuisine that includes the European/Portuguese style, and night-time entertainment, a legacy of GOA’s long Portuguese domination.
Are Italian tourists attracted to your offshore casinos?
Yes, many of them go on board out of curiosity; others try their luck.
Which other cities in Italy do you plan to visit to promote the GOA destination?
On this occasion, we are not going to other cities in Italy. This is just an opportunity to announce our interest in the Italian market. We may plan to return for a more extended tour of other Italian cities, perhaps in 2019.
Any specific plans to be directed to the travel trade to stimulate their interest, too, and highlight the destination to the Italian tourist?
At present, our plans are confined to roadshows. We have appointed a PR agency in Goa who will interact with counterparts in Italy and Europe.
Perhaps you would be interested in a promotional activity regarding the presence of Goa on an Italian state TV special program called Alle falde del Kilimangiaro, focused solely on tourism and scheduled each Sunday which attracts a few million viewers.
Yes, we would like to look at this option. You can ask the organization to contact us with such a proposal.