Goa planning ‘helicopter tourism’

PANAJI: Tourists visiting Goa would be able to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the state’s beaches and thick forests as the state government plans to develop ‘helicopter tourism’.

Presenting the budget, Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat announced development of helicopter tourism in the state in association with private operators.

Kamat, who also holds finance portfolio, said the central government’s assistance of Rs 75 lakh will be utilized for the construction of helipads.

Goa attracts around 24 lakh tourists annually, of whom 4 lakh come from abroad.

The Goa budget for 2010-11 has also made provision of Rs 200 lakh for commencing a sunset cruise from Panaji to Cortalim.

Strengthening the tourism infrastructure, the budget also encourages countryside tourism and allows residents to construct self-contained rooms for tourists.

Kamat also announced soft-loan at the rate of 8 per cent interest through Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and a onetime grant of Rs 50,000 per room constructed.

-PTI

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