India is a big travel and tourist market. Cruises, adventure, medical, wellness, sports, MICE, eco-tourism, film, rural, and religious tourism are among the unique tourism goods it offers. For both local and international tourists, India has been regarded as a spiritual tourism destination. Travel and tourism India contributed up to $ 194.30 billion in 2019 and $ 121.9 billion in 2020 during the pandemic. The industry presents a potential to become a $ 512 billion industry by 2028 and is expected to generate 53 million jobs by 2029.
Goa, with its marvelous and picturesque beaches and architectural splendors such as the Goan temples, churches and old Portuguese architectural houses, is a hub for travelers from across the world. Even during the pandemic, Goa suited to be a location for hybrid workplaces giving people an opportunity to strive in their careers while exploring the culture and landscape. The state’s accounted for Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was INR 815.02 billion (US$ 11.14 billion) in 2020-21 as GSDP (in INR.) increased at a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 8.16 per cent between 2015-16 and 2020-21.
After reinventing Gujarat as the GIFT city, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister now envisions to make Goa centre for India’s tourism. In October 21’ the Prime Minister stated, “Goa is a key centre of India's tourism and thus, in India's economy. In the last few years, we have given every form of support to promote tourism and hospitality. The central government has also supported Goa for the development of tourism hubs.” Further, he applauded Goa for various programs and initiatives such as the "Aatmanirbhar Bharat-Swayampurna Goa" programme 2020, successful implementation of the vaccination campaign, achieving the target of providing 100 per cent electricity connections to households, Har Ghar Jal Abhiyan and freedom from open defecation.
In lieu of the success achieved by the state in only over an year, Goa is set out for state incentives for large scale infrastructure development. Multiple developmental projects including the renovated Fort Aguada Jail Museum, Super Speciality Block at Goa Medical College, New South Goa District Hospital, Aviation Skill Development Center at Mopa Airport and the Gas insulated Substation at Dabolim-Navelim, Margao have already been inaugurated. Additionally, the India International University of Legal Education and Research of Bar Council of India Trust projects are underway. Such infrastructure development will aid Goa in elevating its role in becoming one of the first smart state in India and attract businesses and investments from domestic and international industry pioneers. Furthermore, Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport and Highways launched six national highway projects in Goa worth INR 3,840 crore- the four lane National Highway from Karaswada to Bambolim, the four lane National Highway Project from Patradevi to Karaswada, the Margao Wester Bypass, Port Connectivity Road Loop, Construction of the Mopa Airport Connectivity Road, the construction of observatory towers on the Zuari Bridge on NH 66, and six central road infrastructure fund projects. These projects would benefit the state as they require lower capital investment and deliver higher economic outputs. Easy road connectivity would also support the domestic goods and services industry (like MSMEs) in the region in promotion of door-to-door service, increasing service in rural areas, providing flexible and short road transport routes, and in decreasing costings for packaging and supply.
Goa is a very unique state with a combination of nature and tourism which requires a new model of development to delicately handle the connect between grassroots development of communities and large scale development. Witnessing the remarkable growth of the state and the proactiveness of the state’s government in infrastructure development, Goa has a huge potential of becoming a skill intensive hub of economic activity in future and provide prospects for investment in sectors like IT, tourism, entertainment, education, architecture, and more.
This article is co-authored by Kanika Verma and Bhamini Rathore.