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Goa.. becoming the boating capital of the country..

4 years 8 months ago

Goa, though  having one of the smallest stretches of the country’s vast  5000 km plus coastline, has still managed to achieve the highest brand value & popularity, for its beaches & beach tourism both domestic & internationally.
It’s a shame though, that with over 40 world class beach resorts and the same number of weekly charter flight arrivals into the state, we hugely lack behind in infrastructure for watersports & water based tourism, one of the areas our neighbouring countries have grown in leaps & bounds, thanks to our ancient laws & a bureaucracy that is of not much help, either for lack of knowledge or enthusiasm! Neighbouring competition like Thailand, where tourism started booming around the same time as Goa, today boast of over a dozen world class marinas, whilst we still do not have a single tourist jetty other than the ones in Panjim that cater mainly to the low end dance cruises & Casino ships.. It is shameful that the controversial casino ships seem to have been able to generate much more logistic support from the authorities than the local tourist boat operators!
India’s luxury market has been booming & boat ownership is an integral part of this phenomenon. One walk past the Gateway of India, would showcase a fair idea of the way boating has taken shape in our country from the sheer number of boats, cruisers & luxury yacht’s parked in the not too clean waters of the Mumbai harbour.. Waters that can barely be used for leisure purposes.
Goa should ideally be taking advantage of this growth and be the lead in bringing this high-end luxury boating market closer to our shores, being barely 200 nautical miles & a happy day cruise away from the waters of Bombay & Cochin. More so, Goa being the ideal stop-over for boats cruising between the Pacific & European shores..
Whilst a lot of planning, thinking & tall statements have been made by the authorities in the recent past, owning a boat in Goa still has its challenges, there does not even exist the basic infrastructure to enable refuelling or water supply. Unfortunately boats in Goa, still have to be fuelled up, using “jerry cans” that eventually lead to spilling of fuel & polluting our clean waters!
Add to this, the lack of enterprise & cooperation from the authorities that have led to entrepreneurs refraining from participating in our water tourism, from the mere inability of being able to even register a boat, for reasons best known to the authorities that be. During the tenure of the last COP (Captain of Ports) internationally certified luxury yachts were registered as barges, something that would shock boating aficionados world-wide!
A couple of years back Goa hosted its first boat show and boat sales started booming in the state, a couple of years later, we have 2 annual boat shows and a lower sale of boats! Lets not keep dreaming of a better tomorrow without doing something about it today! Its good that finally some sense prevailed and one can today see the start of some good on our waters, starting from the removal of the infamous “River Princess” even after over 10 years of damage to the coastline & the locals of the area who thrive on beach & water tourism! Let’s hope that we see an end to this menace & the start of a sincere effort to make our state the country’s boating capital and  take water tourism & boating to its logical positioning on this beautiful coastline we have been blessed with!!
What’s rocking Goa’s boat?
Lyndon Alves
Goa, inspite of having one of the smallest stretches of the country’s vast  5000 km plus coastline, has still managed to achieve the highest brand value and popularity, for its beaches and beach tourism both domestic and internationally.
It’s a shame though, that with over 40 world class beach resorts and the same number of weekly charter flight arrivals into the state, we hugely lack behind in infrastructure for watersports  and water based tourism.
Neighbouring competition like Thailand, where tourism started booming around the same time as Goa, today boast of over a dozen world class marinas, whilst we still do not have a single tourist jetty other than the ones in Panjim that cater mainly to the low end dance cruises  and casino boats. It is shameful that the controversial casino boats seem to have been able to generate much more logistic support from the authorities than the local tourist boat operators!
India’s luxury market has been booming and boat ownership is an integral part of this phenomenon. One walk past the Gateway of India,would showcase a fair idea of the way boating has taken shape in our country from the sheer number of boats, cruisers and luxury yacht’s parked in the not too clean waters of the Mumbai harbour.. Waters that can barely be used for leisure purposes.
Goa should ideally be taking advantage of this growth and be the lead in bringing this high-end luxury boating market closer to our shores, being barely 200 nautical miles and a happy day cruise away from the waters of Bombay and Cochin.
Whilst a lot of planning, thinking  and tall statements have been made by the authorities in the recent past, owning a boat in Goa still has its challenges, there does not even exist the basic infrastructure to enable refuelling or water supply. Unfortunately boats in Goa, still have to be fuelled up, using ‘jerry cans’ that eventually lead to spilling of fuel and the polluting of our clean waters!
Add to this, the lack of enterprise and cooperation from the authorities that have led to entrepreneurs refraining from participating in our water tourism, from the mere inability of being able to even register a boat, for reasons best known to the authorities that be. During the tenure of the last COP (Captain of Ports) internationally certified luxury yachts were registered as barges, something that would shock boating aficionados world-wide!
A couple of years back Goa hosted its first boat show and boat sales started booming in the state, a couple of years later, we have 2 annual boat shows and a lower sale of boats!
Let’s not keep dreaming of a better tomorrow without doing something about it today! Its good that finally some sense prevailed and one can today see the start of some good on our waters, starting from the removal of the infamous ‘River Princess’ even after over 10 years of damage to the coastline  and the locals of the area who thrive on beach  and water tourism!
Let’s hope that we see an end to this menace and the start of a sincere effort to make our state the country’s boating capital and take water tourism and boating to its logical positioning on this beautiful coastline we have been blessed with!!

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