Panaji | Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) today sought to allay fears about ‘helicopter tourism’ in South Goa saying it is a boon for the area. Don’t get swayed by anti-government factions with regard to helicopter joy rides and consider this as a new tourism initiative which is an advantage and boon for the area and surrounding villages, a GTDC press statement said.
The helicopter tourism, which faced opposition in North Goa, was shifted to Cansaulim village in South Goa on February 14. The helipad, constructed by a private five-star hotel, is being used to operate copters which provide a picturesque view of the beaches. In South Goa too, the helicopter joy rides are facing criticism with local groups, like Cansaulim Village Action Committee and Cansaulim Arossim Cuelim Civic Consumer Forum, expressing apprehension about it.
They fear the helicopters hovering around will keep away tourists. They have also questioned the legality of the joy rides, a venture of GTDC and Pawan Hans company. There is nothing illegal about the helicopter joy rides. The operator (Pawan Hans) has got the required statutory clearances/permissions from Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Navy, district administration, airport authority and police, GTDC said.
The state tourism body also said Pawan Hans has similar service in neighbouring Maharashtra (Mumbai), where the joy rides are a success. Goa is fortunate to have such service introduced as an activity for tourists. The helicopter joy rides, being operational from a South Goa-based hotel at Arossim since February 14, have already received good response, GTDC General Manager Sanjay Chodnekar said.
GTDC said locals of Cansaulim, Arossim, Cuelim, Majorda and Utorda should capitalise on this new tourism initiative, as it will not only improve the villages’ profile but also boost employment opportunities of local industry stakeholders.
Tourism initiatives like helicopter joy rides will attract high-end and quality tourists to Goa and introducing such activities has become the need of the hour, GTDC Chairman Nilesh Cabral said. Pawan Hans also said helicopter joy rides do not cause any noise pollution or damage the environment.
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