Every college student in India understands the importance of the “mandatory” trip to Goa (which almost never materialises). Sitting on a beach with a beer in hand, enjoying the vivid nightlife, meeting new people from around the world, driving around on a scooter- isn’t this what everybody’s cliched checklist for Goa looks like? Well, no more. While you may still experience all these activities with joy and fervour, there is a lot more Goa will offer to tourists in the coming years.
What has been party central in the country for decades is now soon to be a hub for adrenaline rushes and excitement. With the advent of exhilarating activities such as Bungee jumping, hot air ballooning, scuba diving, hop on-hop off buses, electric bike tours, heritage boat cruises and river rafting, Goa is set to be India’s favourite adventure zone.
In an attempt to add new flavours to the kaleidoscope of activities in Goa, the state will soon be introducing novel attractions for tourists. One such initiative is a hanging restaurant, where one’s seat is elevated 50-100 feet above ground where they can enjoy their meal before being lowered back to the ground. The plans for a giant wheel in line with the London Eye are also in the mix. In addition to that is the idea of bike tours (like the ones in Ladakh), where one can hire one to explore the intricate places of the state or roll to nearby places such as Hampi for a day trip.
Soon enough (if the execution of the plan goes smoothly), one will be able to book a room in a floating hotel. A hotel set on a boat, the floating hotel is another endeavour being looked into by the state.
At the launch of Goa’s first bungee jumping site by Jumpin Heights in association with Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), OT spoke to Nikhil Desai, the managing director of the latter about the new developments in the state. “Lakhs of tourists come to Goa every year. While they enjoy the nightlife, it is important for any destination to evolve every 3-4 years or people will have no reason to return. Activities such as river rafting and hot air ballooning have made a place in Goa. In the next couple of years, we have to be the number one adventure tourism destination in India. This is our aim and we have no doubt we are going to get there with interventions like this,” said Desai.
In order to achieve this goal efficiently, GTDC has launched ‘New Tourism Services’, according to which they collaborate with a private business through a transparent bidding process and help them carry the project forward. Desai believes that government backing and trustworthy private companies will give the visitors confidence in the safety aspect of these adventure zones, which is often a cause of concern.
Another interesting project taken by the state is the renovation of the prison of Aguada in Candolim area. Post renovations, the space will be host to light and sound shows. Baga, on the other hand, will now provide 3D entertainment services. For one hour every day, the show will feature the folk dances, culture and cuisine of Goa.
“What we want to do is ensure that people can do all these activities in a radius of 40-50 kilometres. Mayem Lake, which is a 43-acre property, should be the hub of adventure in Goa,” added Desai.
He also assured that environmental laws will be followed while trying to build up infrastructure. Well, this new Goa seems like a fresh contrast to the cliche. Maybe it’s time for another trip to Goa. What say?
Read more about the first bungee jumping site in Goa.