Goa is best known as a tourist paradise, both in India and abroad. Lavishly
gifted by nature for its scenic beauty, virgin beaches girdling its 105-km
long palm-fringed coast interspersed with enchanting coves, bays and estuaries,
paddy fields, shady coconut, cashew and mango groves dotted with tiny
picturesque villages, temples and churches renowned for worship and pilgrims,
forts and monuments and above all, friendly and hospitable people, Goa
presents an ideal tourism profile.
Tourism is so prominent that the number of tourists almost equals the
number of state population.
Goa attracts almost 12% of total foreign tourists arriving in India.
In terms of direct charters, it is 75% of the total direct charter traffic
in India. To give a big fillip to hospitality industry in the state, the
Department of Tourism has taken multi-pronged strategy involving both
private and government organisations.
THE DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM
The Department of Tourism, Government of Goa, is instrumental in planning
and providing the basic tourist infrastructure and other tourist facilities/amenities
as well as promoting Goa as a round the year tourist destination by
participating in various tourist related events in India and overseas
and through tourist publicity literature and other publications. It
also exercises control over hotels and travel trade activities through
regulatory measures, under the Goa Registration of Tourist Trade Act,
Over the yars, the tourist arrivals into Goa has grown to about 1.2
millions annually almost corresponding to the population of the State.
The Goa Tourism Development Corporation Limited was set up wayback
in 1982 for the sole purpose of running commercial activities of the
Departmental including accommodation units, sight-seeing tours and cruises
for the benefit of tourists in the low and middle income groups who
constitute bulk of the tourist traffic to Goa.
THE GOA TOURISM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION (GTDC)
The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), set up on 30th March,
1982, looks after the commercial aspects :
ACCOMMODATION: 13 GTDC-run Tourist Hostels with 550 rooms and
TRANSPORT: For sightseeing tours by Road Transport, the GTDC
has 17 coaches including AC, luxury and mini coaches, with 350 seats.
The corporation also runs 1 launch known as Santa Monica, which is very
popular for river cruises.
SOUVENIRS: Through Handicrafts Corporation Emporia, the GTDC
helps sell of souvenirs like brass items, clay items and shell items,
besides items carrying GTDC logo like T-shirts, shorts, candles, books,
PACKAGES: The GTDC has been selling since 1994-1995 complete
tour packages through agents in cities like Mumbai, Calcutta, Delhi,
etc, which include accommodation, sightseeing, river cruises, gift items,
Hoteliers, travel trade and tourists have benefited tremendously with
the declaration of Tourism as an Industry in Goa. Luxuries provided
in a hotel include accommodation and other services / facilities like
air conditioning, telephone, telephone, radio, music, entertainment,
extra beds and the like, swimming pool, health club, tennis court, golf
course and shopping arcade. The luxury tax is governed by the Goa Tax
on Luxuries (Hotels and Lodging Houses) Act, 1988. Cooked food and non-alcoholic
drinks served or sold in a hotel attract a sale tax from 4% to 12% subject
to the Goa Sales Tax Act, 1964 (the 6th schedule, clause V of sub-section