Goa businessmen look to Australia for tourism development

August 24th, 2012 - 7:38 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Aug 24 (IANS) Australian firms could soon partner Goa for using its waterways and jungles for tourism purposes, a top official of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) said Friday.

Australian Consul General Steve Waters interacted with GCCI officials here Thursday on ways and means to increase tourism and trade-related cooperation.

“The consul general said that Goa has a lot of forests and setting up forest trails would be a good idea. And if the entire waterways in Goa were charted out, Australia could give a proposal on catamaran transport and river tourism,” GCCI president Manguirish Pai Raikar told reporters here Friday.

The Australian consul general’s offer comes at a time when Goa plans to open up its shoreline for sea marina or picturesque docking stations for yachts and small boats, as well as a full-fledged berthing station for international holiday cruise-liners at the only major port at Vasco.

Waters also said both Goa and Australia are mining-heavy regions and Australia could also help Goa in handling its waste disposal issues.

He wanted a cruise liner berth at the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT), which would help Australians mix business with pleasure.

“He said that the general pattern of Australian tourists is to cover heritage and historical sites in India, and Goa becomes the stop-over destination during a short break. Trade delegations generally only visit the metros such as Mumbai and Hyderabad due to paucity of time,” Raikar said.

“He also said that Australia has expertise in tourism, especially with respect to marinas, and aquariums and is also a mining nation, which could be of help to Goa,” Raikar said.

A lot of foreign companies had expressed interest in setting up amusement parks, marinas, cable car routes etc in Goa, he added.

“We want to promote Goa as a family destination,” Raikar said.

–indo-asian news service

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