Panaji, May 21 (IANS) The relatively virgin beaches of southern coastal Maharashtra are no threat to beach tourism in Goa, at least not in the immediate future, a top tourism trade official said Friday.
Beaches like Malvan and Tarkarli in south Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg district have a long way to go before they can be seen as a threat to Goa’s tourism pie, said Ralph de Souza, president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa.
‘Good tourism does not mean scenic beauty alone. The place also has to have the right atmosphere and infrastructure, which presently south Maharashtra does not have,’ de Souza told IANS.
‘They also do not have any major project (hospitality) in the area. Even in terms of infrastructure, the roads are very small in that area,’ de Souza said.
South Maharashtra, with its clean, coconut palm-fringed beaches, has been positioning itself as a rival beach destination to Goa.
However, de Souza admits that Goa may feel the competitive heat from its neighbour after a few years.
‘After sometime, when Goa gets saturated and people begin to move out… maybe,’ he said.
Goa, a major beach tourism destination in the world, attracts nearly 2.4 million tourists annually, nearly 500,000 of them being foreigners.