Oppn calls for austerity measures in tourism promotion in Goa

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Panaji, Jan 29 (PTI) While Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar on Friday said 1.5 crore tourists visited the coastal state in 2019-20 before the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the Opposition called for austerity measures in tourism promotion.

During the ongoing session of the Goa Legislative Assembly, Goa Forward Party MLA Vijai Sardesai questioned the expenditure of whopping Rs 33.68 crore on various tourism promotion events and travel marts in the last four years.

He further claimed that the event management agency was paid its fees despite the fact that events were cancelled during the pandemic.

Responding to the discussion in the House, Ajgaonkar quoted the figures given by consultancy firm KPMG and said 1.5 crore tourists visited the state in 2019-20.

Sardesai pointed out that the chief minister and the tourism minister had quoted two different figures about tourists who visited the state during December 31, 2020 New Year festivities.

While the tourism minister pegged the figure at 9 lakh domestic and 7,000 international tourists, the chief minister had claimed that 45 lakh tourists had arrived in the coastal state to usher in the New Year.

Following that discussion, the chief minister assured the House that a tourism promotion board, comprising all stakeholders, will be formed in the near future to decide on all events and promotional activities of the department. PTI RPS ARU ARU