Panaji, Oct 7 (IANS): Stating that Goa faces challenges on tourism from Sindhudurg belt (in Maharashtra) and from Karnataka border, Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte said that his department is rightly putting steps to promote water sports and eradicate illegal touts, so no tourists are affected.
"If we don't act right, then we may suffer in regards to tourism. Tourists may start going to neighbouring states," Khaunte said, while addressing a press conference here.
Earlier, Goa Forward Party President and MLA Vijai Sardesai had said that he will oppose water sports policy if this business is snatched from locals and given to corporates.
"Water sports must remain local not with outsider lobbies. Met with young, dynamic #Goemkar fishing community members who're alarmed by @GovtofGoa's anti-local policies that'll snatch all water sports activities from their hands and offer them to big corporates. WE WILL OPPOSE," Sardesai had tweeted.
Referring to Sardesai's allegations, Khaunte said that no corporatisation will take place in water sports.
"Water sports business will remain with the people of Goa. No corporatisation will take place. We are using technology and ensuring the queuing system and regulating things," Khaunte said.
He said that illegal guides and touts on beaches make money out of these businesses and thus tourists suffer.
"Tourist should not get affected due to inequality of rates on beaches. We need to have a proper regulated system," Khaunte said.
"Water sports operators have said that their business is getting affected due to touts and guides. They want all systems in place and the same thing we are doing. But it seems some are misguiding them," he said.
"Tourist should get online services, like we get in foreign countries. We will promote water sports activity and they (Goans in this business) will earn money, then what is wrong in our decision?" Khaunte questioned.
He said that water sports policy has been drafted, abiding by the directions of the high court. "If we want quality tourists and tourists spending money, then we should give them good services," he said.