The Future of GOA as a Tourist Destination
The destination is geographically located in the southwestern region of India. Goa is famous for its places of worship and beaches. Most tourists visit Goa because of the many beaches in the destination. Some of the beaches include Ashwem Beach, Arambol Beach, Utorda Beach, Cavelessom Beach, and Varca Beach. Despite having all these beaches, Goa is the smallest Indian state. Throughout history, the tourist destination has undergone constant transformation to the current condition that spearheads social and economic development in the area (Gomes, 2010). The Importance of Tourism Planning Tourism planning is the consideration of the needs of tourists and using those factors to determine the best activities, programs, and resources for the tourists’ trips. Other than the focus on tourists, tourism planning is also intended for local residents, the local environment, and surrounding businesses.
The process of planning is vital for tourism to develop in a way that is beneficial, sustainable, and not detrimental to the community, culture, and the environment (Hall, 2008). In the context of GOA, proper tourism planning would determine the various destination specific factors that affect the running and success of tourism. For instance, there is significant leakage of tourism money out of the Goan economy. Foreign nationals or corporations from outside Goa are the majority owners of large hotels in the tourist destination. Consequently, significant portions of profits and incomes from tourism in Goa does not go to the local economy. Furthermore, an increasing an increasing number of hotels in Goa are offering all-inclusive deals with some importing all their raw materials, products, and services from outside Goa.
While this trend is attractive for the tourists, it is detrimental to the local economy since it reduces the tourists’ need to purchase drinks and food from local businesses. For the fact that the destination is best known for its many beaches, tourists from all over the world can engage in numerous breathtaking local activities in water as well as on land. Children and growth tourist equally indulge in the local activities since the activities are the best chances of knowing the pulse of Goa apart from the sunrise views and the beaches. Some of the local activities include snorkeling, indulging in water sports, parasailing, hot air balloon fight, quad biking, and camping (Rodrigues, 2010). There are so many attractions in Goa that tourists find it difficult to fit them all in one trip.
From stunning Portuguese architecture to vibrant flea markets to sun-kissed beaches, the attractions in Goa are limitless. Accommodation in Goa is abundant with a variety of guest houses, guests, resorts, and hotels to suit every budget and every taste. There are simple and bare rooms available for the low and middle-class tourists, and five-star deluxe luxury suites for tourist willing to dig dipper into their pockets. Communication services in Goa are efficient with excellent networks every time of the year. The Current Tourist Market in Goa The current tourist market in Goa is both local Indians and foreign tourists. Goa is a favorite destination for visitors touring India. During peak tourist seasons, Goa’s population doubles, with the tourist population almost equaling the local citizens.
The Current Marketing Strategy of Goa as a Tourist Destination Traditionally, Goa’s marketing strategy has involved the organization of overseas and domestic events such as international trade fairs and road shows to promote Goa as a world-class tourist destination. However, over time, with technological advancements and the changing dynamics of tourism, the marketing strategy has evolved to conform to contemporary trends. As such, Goa currently uses more advanced methods of marketing to promote tourism in the area. For instance, the Goa Tourism Department releases advertisements in electric and print media to both domestic and abroad markets to promote Goa as a destination of choice. The graph is summarized in the table below: Table 1: A table showing the number of tourists coming to Goa since 2012.
From the table, a record 7. 7 lakh toured the coastal hot-spot of Goa in 2017, making a 22. 98 percent increase over the previous year. Of these tourists visiting Goa in 2017, 6. Furthermore, the destination is forecasted to record a growth in tourist influx by over 22 percent every year through till 2023. However, Goa also exhibits several weaknesses as a tourist destination. An analysis of these factors as well as the threats in the industry is summarized in the table below. Strengths • A strong brand as a tourist destination • Captivating intricacies, attractions, activities, and well-developed tourism services. • Support from the government • The hospitality and tourism industry in Goa is dynamic. Goa as a brand is well-recognized across the world. It is logical to deduce that Goa is one of the most popular and sought-after getaways for tourists all across the world.
The destination brand is recognized for offering a unique vibe mixed with cuisine, culture, tradition, and the fun of being a continental state. Tourists visit the endless attractions in the destination and engage in numerous local activities, and can’t stop wondering how one destination site can give different experiences on every visit and stay. For these reasons, Goa as a destination brand is one of the top vacation places for India. C. Threats A major threat that Goa faces as a tourist destination is stiff competition from other equally attractive tourist destinations such as Maharashtra and Kerala. Maharashtra attracts a large number of tourists from both local and foreign markets. Currently, Maharashtra is the second most visited tourist destination by domestic tourists (Tolkach, Chon & Xiao, 2016).
Regarded as the “God’s Own Country,” Kerala is perceived as one of the most beautiful locations on earth. These trends have transformed the context of tourism in Goa, making the destination more suiting to different types of tourists coming from various parts of the world. Vision Statement The vision of Goa as a tourist destination is “To become a tourist destination of choice with constant and sustained growth of the tourism and travel sector in the Goa area and abroad fueled by a robust Goan economy with state-of-the-art infrastructure and tourism services” Goals of Goa as a Tourist Destination Goal 1 • To increase the annual foreign tourist arrivals to Goa to 12 lakhs by 2023 Goal 2 • To promote responsible and community-based tourism in Goa so that 100% of locals can enjoy the improved environment and increased socio-economic benefits by 2023.
Objectives of Goa as a Tourist Destination Goal: To increase the annual foreign tourist arrivals to Goa to 12 lakhs by 2023 Objectives • To intensify overseas marketing strategies in emerging markets including New Zealand, the United States, South East Asia, and the Far East. One way of intensifying marketing strategies in these emerging markets is through forming partnerships with the travel agencies in those countries. The Goa Tourism Department could then market its tourist services to those markets through the agencies. • To involve the local community in all stages of Goan tourism development, including the planning, decision-making, and implementation of tourism development activities. The participation of the local community in tourism is central to the sustainability of the area’s tourism sector. Therefore, encouraging the local community’s participation is one of the core elements of tourism development in Goa.
• To promote and ensure the dignity and respect of people in tourism, marketing, and promotion of tourism. The promotion of dignity and respect of the Goan people could entail the conservation and provision of economic opportunities for the communities living adjacent to the Goan natural heritage. An ideal future for the tourism sector in Goa will also entail having well-developed means of transportation including land and air with state-of-the-art infrastructure that meet the expectation of tourists coming from different parts of the globe. Top-quality public transportation will improve the connectivity within Goa and reduce constraints on growth, by moving more tourists within the space available. On environment, the future of Goa as a tourist destination is having a responsible and community-based approach to tourism, providing socio-economic benefits to 100% of locals.
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