Coinciding with the Golden Jubilee year of its liberation , Goa - the world tourist destination is all poised to enter the new year 2011. A host of events including several functions and colourful parties especially on the pristine beaches along the beautiful coast of Goa will usher the state in the new year.
Lakhs of tourists both foreign and domestic have arrived in the state to participate in the Christmas and new year celebrations, flooding almost all the beaches in the state. The arrival of tourists in large number this time has put a considerable strain on the hotel industry thereby shooting the tariffs of hotel rooms between two thousand to thirty thousand rupees per day. Hoteliers claim to have already booked the rooms for their guests in the month of October to January in advance. This has kept the lower and middle class income tourist away.
The transport sector including the Railways, the roadways and the airlines too have developed a considerable strain on account of the inflow of tourists. The Konkan Railway Corporation (KTC) has pressed into service extra trains on the important routes to clear the extra rush of passengers during the festive season. The tourist taxi operators seem to make fast buck commuting visitors from one tourist place to another.
All the stained glass windows have inscriptions in English, Hindi and Telugu. The Hindi inscription came later, at the instance of Vijaylakshmi Pandit, sister of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who felt that the national language must find a mention on the stained glass.
After taking a review of the total security scenario in the state, the Home Department has made elaborate security arrangements for the safety of tourists during the new year celebrations. As a part of these security measures, the state Government has deployed two contingents of para military forces spread all over the state. The State government is taking every precaution while according the necessary permissions to parties like sunburn which is attended normally by over twenty to twenty five thousand tourists for which the organizers have already begun the online registration.. Sunburn party is supposed to be Asia's one of the biggest parties in which the people all over the world participate and enjoy.
Ever since Goa's name figured on terrorists radar from early 2000-01 the state Govt. is making every possible effort to reinforce security cover every tourist season especially during the months of November to January. Police sources said, the vital installations are kept under strict security vigil and all the restaurants, beach shacks and even small eateries along the coast are required to set up extra security measures like installing CCTV's etc.
According to the "Travel and Tourism Association of Goa" the state received around 21 to 27 lakh domestic tourists and 3.76 lakh foreign tourists in 2009, a considerable rise compared to 2008 that had around 20 lakh domestic and 3.51 lakh foreign tourists.
Balaji V. Prabhugaonker, AIR Correspondent, Panaji