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Opposition grills Minister over funds spent on promoting Goa Tourism

Panjim:The opposition grilled Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar over Rs 33 crore spent by his ministry on promotion of tourism destination at different places abroad.

During the question hour, Goa Forward Party (GFP) MLA Vijay Sardesai said the government spent Rs 33 crore on tourism promotion and road shows abroad over four years which was nothing but a wastage of money.

The House also debated whether the state really received 45 lakh tourists during the recent festive season held amidst Covid 19 pandemic.

Sardesai questioned the figure and said it did not tally with the written reply given by the Tourism Minister in the assembly.

On Friday, the Tourism Minister, in a written reply, had claimed that the provisional domestic tourist arrival figure was 9,71,479 for 2020 out of whom 7,935 foreign tourists.
“The CM has said 40 to 45 lakh tourists have entered Goa for December and New Year. It does not tally with the written reply of the Tourism Minister. And during the pandemic air travel was shut down, where did you get international tourists from? God seems to be sending tourists to Goa,” he added.

The Chief Minister responded saying during the pandemic there was changed in the trend of tourist arrival and most of the tourists preferred to visit Goa using road and stayed in unregistered hotels and guest houses which made government agencies to arrive at a definite number.

The Chief Minister said between December 25, 2020 and January 1, 2021, people were not able to travel abroad and hence they came to Goa.

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