Goa’s apex commerce body has asked the state government to initiate steps so that the state can get rid of its drug-sex destination image.
“Tourism in Goa, of late, is getting a bad name with the state slowly emerging as a drug and sex destination,” Goa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) has said in its pre-budget memorandum.
The memorandum was submitted to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat last week listing various recommendations that could be included in the state budget, to be presented in March.
The GCCI said there is no basic tourism and entertainment infrastructure in the state.
“Problems of law and order and garbage will spell doom for the state tourism,” the memorandum said.
The apex commerce body said the state should set up tourism development board to handle these issues. A series of sting operations had exposed policemen in the state selling drugs to the foreigners.
The GCCI recommended that the government should create jetties and other infrastructure to facilitate setting up of pleasure cruise boats business in South Goa.
“This will create job opportunities in that area, which has faced economic slowdown after the commissioning of Zuari Bridge,” the memorandum said.
“Pleasure cruise boats pay about 35 per cent of their turnover as taxes by way of entertainment tax, service tax and tourism charges. These taxes should be reduced to a sustainable level,” it said.
The GCCI also stressed for creation of tourism entertainment infrastructure like boating and others around the Ourem creek in Panjim city.