Panaji, Oct 24 (IANS) Goa’s hospitality industry on Thursday lobbied for dilution of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms, saying the existing law of no construction within 200 metres of the high tide line was a deterrent to the state’s tourism prospects.
“We have a beautiful coastline and have not been able to develop our beaches because of the conservative CRZ guidelines. The country’s coastal regulation that stipulates 200 metres of high tide is a great handicap,” Travel and Tourism Association of Goa president Savio Messias said at the ongoing Goa International Travel Mart near the state capital.
“The government has to extend infrastructure status to the hotel industry. Some support from the government would help set up the infrastructure required by the hospitality sector,” he added.
The Association is one of the oldest travel and tourism industry stakeholders’ body in the country.
He also said that for Goa to attract the “elusive international pleasure tourist”, there was need for the state government to act on the recommendations made in a strategy document released by the Niti Ayog, which proposes the development of India’s coastline and river network for cruise boats and marinas.
“So far, the focus has been on promoting the culture and heritage. To sell to international travellers, the undue stress on culture and heritage has a limited appeal and, that too, to a niche segment of travellers about a certain age. Goa, to grow as an international tourist destination, needs to develop products which appeal to a wide spectrum of travellers,” Messias said.
Goa is one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country, but travel and tourism industry stakeholders over the last couple of years have urged the state government to put in corrective measures to arrest the drop in tourist footfalls.