Goa Tourism is all set to launch Hot Air Balloons and Amphibious vessels in April 2015. Camping Retreats, a renowned Delhi-based agency, has been selected to provide the Hot Air Ballooning service, while US based consortium with D’Souza Leisure Goa has been selected to provide the unique Amphibious vehicles service in the State.
The idea of initiating these products came from the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) as part of the larger plan to introduce new services for tourists in Goa. Buoyed by the success of White Water Rafting and the women’s taxi services in 2014, GTDC has set April 2015 as the target to launch these new ventures.
Dilip Parulekar, tourism minister, Government of Goa said, “Goa Tourism will be focusing on enriching the tourism experience of visitors to Goa through the medium of adventure and allied activities.
Nilesh Cabral, chairman, GTDC said, “Both adventure services will focus on highlighting Goa’s hinterlands and will give tourists an opportunity to explore the rich geography of the state via the sky and the waterways.”
According to preliminary data available with the GTDC, as many as six Amphibious vehicles will be introduced utilising Goa’s wide networking of ferry ramps. The vessels can operate on water and land and will be equipped with all facilities required for effective and smooth conduct of operations.
This venture will further facilitate ‘Hop On Hop Off’ tours along Goa’s inland waterways and chain of jetties and ferry ramps, bird watching tours and eco-tourism tours. As many as 34 passengers can be accommodated per trip for duration of 30 minutes to an hour. These boats will be manufactured in Goa with US technology in collaboration with AGCL- Goa. The Amphibious vehicles will be the first of its kind for use by civilians in the country. The Hot Air Ballooning Safaris will be designed by Camping Retreats and will induct two hot air balloons at the introductory phase. The initial plan is to introduce hot air balloon tours to Dudhsagar Water Falls.
Nikhil Desai, managing director, GTDC said, “With the launch of the two new products Goa Tourism will have a solid portfolio to present to the world and India and increase footfalls further in the months to come.”
Desai added, “The joint ventures between GTDC and the selected agencies will generate a committed INR60 lakh per annum to GTDC alone. The Corporation will not be investing in these ventures but will provide networking, promotion, marketing and permissions required by the service providers. Goa needs to constantly reinvent itself as a dynamic tourist destination. The two new products will give a boost to eco-tourism and also provide employment opportunities for Goans both directly and indirectly.”