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TOURISM

Tourism is a most important component of state economy and plays an important role in the socio economic development of the state. Goa, a tiny emerald on the Western Coast of India is indeed a place of tranquility and a safe tourist destination for the visitors from all over the world. This tiny state which made its beginning with 2 lac tourists could succeed in galloping the tourist traffic to 20 lacs in 2003 which is more than its population.

The Government has laid special emphasis on creating grand identity to Goa by developing infrastructure and diversifying a beach oriented tourism to other forms of tourism such as like heritage tourism, eco tourism, adventure sports, aqua-sports etc. On account of these initiatives, the tourist inflow has increased considerably and also the state has bagged the most innovative marketing campaign award during year 2003. Sandy beaches of Goa are major tourist attraction.

         

Eco-Tourism                                        Shacks at Mobor Beach

Although increase in tourism and related activities have enhanced employment related opportunities, coastal developmental activities have induced notable environmental and social problems. The impact gets worsen as a result of related anthropogenic activities that follows such a coastal tourism as a result Goa's coastal scenario is fast changing. Construction of resorts, residential dwellings, commercial establishments, beach side entertainment centres / eat outs have changed the coastal strip drastically. Prior to 1970's, before tourism became a source of revenue, the only identifiable structures along the shore were few cabins and thatched huts made up of coconut leaves that home sea going canoes, some of which can still be seen today. The large plain areas behind the dune belts were used for farming and paddy cultivation, activities which are common at certain places even at present. Recreation was restricted to Calangute, Miramar and Colva beaches, being the only beaches which were most frequent (Mascarhenas, 1998). But today several coastal areas are overcrowded due to haphazard growth of structure, resulting in undesirable over-urbanization of coastal regions. Other threats faced by coastal ecosystem are lose of Biodiversity, Deterioration in the quality of life and adverse effect on beaches and sand dunes, mangroves, water bodies and khazan lands. Lately, In recent years and after realizing the environmental consequences, such developmental activities along the open sea front is now shifting towards hinterlands, along rivers and backwaters as well as forest land in the form of eco-tourism.