Panaji eyes Nice facelift to become tourist friendly

June 7th, 2011 - 6:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, June 7 (IANS) For that exotic French Riviera experience, all you would soon need to do is step onto the streets of Panaji.

Goa Tourism is in talks with civic authorities of Nice, France, to preen the state capital and decongest its streets on the lines of the prime French town, a hub of international tourism, officials said Tuesday.

The Goa Tourism has now planned a trip of its officials to Nice to draw lessons which could be replicated in Panaji, which is also a river-front city.

“We are definitely keen on partnering with France on this initiative. We have invited a technical team from Nice to Goa in order to study the circumstances here and suggest a feasible plan for execution,” Director of Tourism Swapnil Naik said.

“In the meanwhile, we are doing our ground work and planning. Over the next few weeks we will be discussing the modalities of the exchange programme with the commissioner of the city of Panjim (CCP),” he added.

Goa authorities have already shortlisted two significant tourist-specific areas that need urgent redressal — a rapid transport system and solid waste treatment — which the two cities will collaborate on.

“Goa receives a large number of tourists each year. A rapid transport system is essential to be able to cope with the growing numbers of domestic and international tourists that arrive onto the shores of Goa every year,” Naik said.

Deputy Mayor of Nice and a member of the French parliament Rudy Salles met senior tourism department officials in Goa last week to find ways to bring Panaji on par with the French town as far as civic amenities and tourism are concerned.

“Years ago, the city of Nice too had issues to deal with which included traffic congestion and garbage management. Subsequently, a process was put into place which involved segregation, collection and disposal of garbage in a scientific manner,” Salles told reporters here.

Nice has already worked out an effective model to tackle this issue, according to Salles.

“In a bid to make commuting hassle-free for tourists in Nice, in addition to dedicating certain streets solely to pedestrians, the city has also begun renting out cycles and fuel efficient cars, including electric cars, to tourists,” the French politician said.

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