Travel tales

Tourist Safety and Security in Goa

Safety and security of tourists is a big concern for all the tourism boards across India and also across whole world. Lately a lot has been done to ensure safety for the tourists and travelers.

In India, it is No 1 priority for Goa Tourism too. Shri Manohar Azgaonkar, Tourism Minister, Govt of Goa has also set up his priorities for tourism with regards to safety and security of tourists.

We all know that be it on or off the coast, tourists make Goa their preferred destination to holiday every season. The increasing number of arrivals whether from the national segment or international segment reinforces one fact that Goa is a much loved destination all through the year.

The  Government  of Goa,  through the Department  of Tourism and  Goa Tourism Development Corporation  (GTDC) have been working round the clock not only to cater  to the  rise in tourist arrivals by  way of providing  tourism related infrastructure,  but also  providing  safety and security measures  round the clock.

While security measures  have been  augmented over the years at the  Goa airport,  security measures at the State borders have  also been tightened giving tourists a sense of  surety  on the safety cover  available  in the State  right from point  of arrival.

Safety measures at hotels, tourist spots and across the state is visible and increasing substantially.

A  safety  and security cover on the beach through a 100 odd IRB force,  more than  600 lifeguards, special women taxi services  and  CCTV cameras at  several tourist locations  have  added  more impetus on safety measures in the state.

Minister for Tourism, Govt of Goa, Mr. Manohar Azgaonkar said“We have set the agenda for tourism in Goa, with Safety and Security of tourist being the No 1 priority for the tourism department. The Goa government   through the  Home  department  is  augmenting  budgets  for improving  safety and security measures in the State keeping in mind  the tourism  industry and the importance of providing  a safe  holiday for tourists visiting Goa.”

Known to be a destination  for  single women  travelers, in Goa,  a special  women’s helpline 1091 has been set up and  two  women police stations in each of the respective  state districts  have also been providing  services to women  in distress.

Likewise, a women taxi service, exclusively for women travelers has been functioning successfully and has given a big boost to women  travelers.  Records show that while  women domestic  travelers  use this facility extensively,  more than  10  per cent  of  the  commuters have  been foreign women travelers.

On the beach, lifeguards have been keeping a close watch on and off the waters and have rescued  hundreds of  tourists from  drowning while swimming.  A beach patrol till midnight is also provided and several rescue cases reported.

Today, the State government through the Department  of Tourism  have availed of  funds  under the Swadesh Darshan scheme for installing CCTV cameras  on the beach belt. The first phase  which covers  Sinquerim to Keri  is already in progress  of installations  of the surveillance systems  and  the second  phase covering Panjim to Canacona is awaiting approvals and  will be  implemented  as soon as  the same  is  obtained. Special control rooms for monitoring the CCTV footage will be set up at  Tourist Information Centers at various locations  identified. To monitor beach activities at shacks, CCTVs will be made mandatory for all shacks operating on the beaches.

Mr. Nilesh Cabral, Chairman, GTDC said, “We have never compromised on tourist safety in Goa.  Every year the focus is on stepping up these measures and all agencies involved in this are doing their best to ensure that tourists have a safe holiday in Goa.”

Even  during festivals and events which draw lakhs of tourists,  the  safety cover is doubled  and  police  have kept a hawk’s eye on  larger events  like Carnival, Shigmo, Zatras and feasts celebrated by various  communities.

 Goa Tourism and Goa Tourism Development Corporation also use their social media platforms which includes facebook, twitter, G +, Instagram and other websites to sensitize tourists on the do’s and don’ts while holidaying in the state. The tourism department and GTDC also work with the hotel industry and other tourism stakeholders to create awareness among tourists on the safety aspects while touring Goa.

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