The mesmerizing collage of the attractions that Goa as a state of incredible India offers was showcased beautifully at the recently concluded GITM 2019. The Goa International Travel Mart received an excellent response with more than 100 international and more than 125 national buyers having a face to face interaction with the different stakeholders of Goa’s travel and tourism trade. The GITM 2019 was a well-organized affair and received an excellent response, even though Goa was caught in the midst of heavy rains. Nirvan Diaries was honoured to be invited to be a part of GITM 2019 and celebrate life reveling in the beauty of Goa.
Happenings At GITM 2019
Goa was abuzz with hectic activity as more than a hundred international buyers and an equal number of national buyers converged at the Dr.Shyma Prasad Mukherjee Indoor Stadium to participate enthusiastically in the GITM 2019. A big media delegation including national and international media organizations and national and international travel blogger were there to cover the event. The heavy rains failed to dampen the spirit with which the event was infused.
The Grand Inauguration
GITM 2019 got off to a clourful start at the grand location of the Park Regis Hotel in Arpora, Goa. The event was inaugurated by the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant and Shri Manohar Ajgaonkar, Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister & Minister of Tourism, Goa. Also present on the occasion were senior dignitaries including, Mr. Ashok Kumar, Secretary Tourism, and Mr. Nikhil Desai, Managing Director of GTDC(Goa Tourism Development Corporation).
The event got off to a traditional Indian start with the lighting of the lamp accompanied by a prayer to Lord Ganesha for his blessings.
Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant addressed the audience that packed the spacious Ballroom of the Park Regis Goa. He emphasized the thrust on tourism that the state government is giving and also outlined plans for infrastructure support. He also informed that the proposed new international airport coming up at Mopa in North Goa was likely to be functional by 2022.
Mr. Nikhil Desai, MD GTDC, unwrapped the many worlds of Goa to the audience. A new film that showcases diverse and sometimes contrasting aspects of Goa was released on the occasion by the Chief Minister Dr. Pramod Sawant.
A colourful cultural extravaganza had the audience spellbound. It gave a tantalizing glimpse of the diverse culture and heritage of Goa through the medium of dance and music.
The evening came to an end with informal interaction of the delegates over a sumptuous dinner spread and cocktails
One of the highlights of GITM 2019 was a very informative and interactive media briefing that was done by Mr. Nikhil Desai, MD GTDC, and Mr. Ashok Kumar, Secretary Tourism. Mr. Desai gave a very detailed and visually appealing powerpoint presentation that clearly demonstrated the depth and variety of the offerings that Goa had for visitors.
He talked about how Goa is an all-weather destination and a land of contrasting experiences. Goa is the state where heritage churches and heritage temples co-exist, the land where cuisines from the Konkan region blend with the legacy of Portuguese cuisine. He talked about the sheer range of attractions and activities that Goa offers to make it a complete destination with something in it for everyone. If the younger generation can experience the thrills of river rafting, the elder ones can float above the picturesque landscapes of Goa in a hot air balloon.
Goa without its beaches is like a queen without a crown and hence beaches figured in his presentation too. The top beaches of India include many from Goa, and the historical monuments of the Bom Jesus Basilica and Se Cathedral draw people from across the world. The safety of tourists is another area where the state is heavily focused to ensure a safe and enjoyable time for tourists. Goa attractions including churches like The Church of St. Cajetan, temples like the Mangeshi temple and Shata Durga Temple, mosques like the Safa Masjid, festivals including Shigmo and Goa carnival figured in his presentation.
The presentation also talked about the importance of the local brew Cashew Feni and how Goa is inseparable from its dance and music. Water sports including jet skiing and scuba diving as well as extreme sports like Bungy Jumping await to thrill the visitors to Goa.
Mr. Ashok Kumar, Secretary Tourism answered our question about how Goa planned to maintain the fragile environmental balance given its popularity and increase in the number of footfalls. He outlined the measures being taken and those on the anvil including the promotion of Goa beyond beaches and banning of single-use plastic.
GITM 2019 – An Ideal Platform for B2B Interaction
The GITM 2019 saw business interactions between the exhibitors who represented various verticals from the travel and allied industries of Goa with national and international buyers. The exhibitors represented hotels and resorts, tour operators from Goa, entertainment and cruise companies, logistics companies and breweries among others. Apart from Goa Tourism, there were major brands like Make My Trip, Hyatt, Le Meridien, etc., who showcased their products and services.
- Goa is ranked among the top ten nightlife cities in the world by National Geographic
- An experience centre that would depict the culture and heritage of Goa through laser, audio-visuals and live exhibits is coming up on Baga beach and likely to be opened in December
- The new international airport at Mopa in North Goa likely to be operational by 2022
- Single-use plastic is banned by GTDC
- App-based cab service called Goa Miles which is an initiative of Goa Tourism has been launched
The beauty of Goa and its melange of offerings were showcased like a palette full of multiple colours at the GITM 2019.