Panaji, Nov 29 (IANS) Tourism in Goa gets a boost during the annual International Film Festival of India and is an 'extra bonus' for the state, said Tourism Minister Francisco Xavier Pacheco.
'During IFFI, quite a good number of hi-profile tourists come to Goa and spend money. It is like an extra bonus for us. I am very happy that Goa is being turned into a permanent venue (for IFFI),' Pacheco told IANS.
'This is the third year of IFFI in Goa and I must congratulate our Chief Minister Digambar Kamat for organising it so well. The first year when IFFI came here, it was something different for us. It is improving,' he added.
Neeta Sen, executive assistant manager at the Cidade de Goa beach resort, echoed the same, saying: 'IFFI does put Goa on the international circuit and even on the tourism map. Goa is the third most sought after destination in the world hence such a large happening gives us good publicity.
'The affiliation with IFFI brings us good publicity, and this is an investment for us,' said Sen. Cidade de Goa is IFFI's hospitality partner.
Sen said: 'It is a matter of pride to have such eminent patrons staying with us. Last year, Charlie Chaplin's granddaughter stayed here. Knowing that next year we have a chance to be the hospitality partner of IFFI again gives us security and we can concentrate on other things.'
Pacheco said the government was planning to add new features to woo more tourists.
'Tourists are increasing every year and this year we have got night landing facility in Goa. Last year, we received around 800 chartered planes and this year there are going to be more such planes. The state received four million tourists last year,' he said.
'So far we only talk about beaches, white sands, restaurants but we need a lot more infrastructure in Goa to boost tourism. For instance we need a water kingdom, theme park, golf course. The Goa government will welcome any private investor who wants to set up a theme part or water kingdom.
'Of course, we have a lot of monuments. We promote historical structures and are keen to maintain them. But we should have other facilities too.'
He said a proper tourism policy should be put in place, which is not affected by changing political equations.