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Perception about tourism in Goa should be changed: Minister

Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte has said the perception that the state is only a “sun, sea and sand” tourism destination should be changed.

The Goa government is trying to promote spiritual and wellness tourism policies, he said, adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s `Dekho Apna Desh’ initiative will help boost these sectors.

The Minister was speaking after inaugurating a three-day event to mark the traditional Chikhal Kalo (playing in mud) festival at Marcel in North Goa district.

“Goa is known only for the western life, night life and party life. That is being projected as culture of Goa. We need to change the perception,” he said.

Post the COVID-19 pandemic, people are getting attracted to spiritual and wellness tourism in a big way, Khaunte said.
The government is looking to promote sustainable and responsible tourism, he added.

“We have to change the perception of tourism that does not restrict us to sun, sand and sea, and going beyond that we should be focusing on (promoting Goa as) Dakshin Kashi (southern Kashi). Our temples should be promoted,” the Minister said.

The history of these temples and the contribution of kings like Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj to their preservation needs to be related to the world, he added.

Connectivity to Goa has increased significantly with the new airport at Mopa which connects to cities like Dehradun and Nashik and the launch of the Madgaon-Mumbai Vande Bharat Express, the Minister said.

Traditional festivals of Goa like Chikhal Kalo and Sao Joao need to be promoted, he further said.

“We go to play Tomatina festival in Spain. But back home we are not highlighting the Chikal Kalo, which is a festival of mud,” he said. (Source: PTI)

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