Go Goa ”“ to the gateway of India

By Neena Badhwar

Goa Tourism came to promote Goa as a tourist destination in Sydney and New Zealand this month. A sumptuous dinner and presentation on Goa was attended by tour operators, travel agents, airline officials, members of the community, media and Consul General of India Mr. Vanlal Vawna.

Gavin Dias (3rd fromLeft) with guests at the dinner/launch of Goa promotion in Sydney

Gavin Dias, General Manager, Goa Tourism Council Corporation, gave a detailed slide tour on Goa to guests and all what it has to offer to tourists. He said that Goa is a gateway to India, a one-stop destination, in the sense that it has everything on offer from worship to wonder, to adventure sport, temples, churches, mosques, beautiful beaches, historical places, wild life, nature, shopping and cruising.

“We are also a favourite for filmmakers who find beautiful locations at one place, from the best waterfalls, nature, to the best scenery. They don’t have to go very far, the hinterland is as beautiful as our beaches, two of the top beaches of the world are in Goa only.”

“It is a place that never sleeps as there is very safe nightlife with parties, cuisine from the best spices that grow here. Even a visit to spice plantation can be on the cards.”

When asked about the safety of women, says Dias, “The Indian government has introduced ”˜Ladies Taxis’ which are driven by women and there’s always a lady accompanying her. These taxis run at nights as well and are quite safe. Women activists are doing a lot of work for the safety of women in general and women travelling in Goa.”

About adventure sport he says that there is white water rafting, scuba diving, water skiing and said that soon they are introducing bungee jumping as well that too at a very reasonable rates than what it costs in other parts of the world.

Dias said that Monsoon season in India are the best months to visit Goa. “Its just magical during the rainy season when the whole place transforms and everything that looked dusty earlier suddenly turns rich green. It is a beautiful sight with lush greenery, overflowing waterfalls, wild life sanctuaries, plenty of produce and a destination of health and wellbeing offering Ayurvedic treatments.”

“Goan cuisine is influenced by the Portugese, unique dishes with main ingredients such as coconut,  coconut milk, fresh spices, green pepper trees, Peri-Peri chilli, are important ingredients in Goan cuisine.”

There are direct flights or via Delhi to Goa and Dias says he wants people of Australia and New Zealand to experience Goa though they get tourists from all over the world. Gavin presented informative slides recommending best spots such as the ”˜Dudhsagar Waterfalls’ to visit while in Goa and insisted not to forget the famous drink Cashew Feni. Or try seeing Goa on a ”˜hop on hop off bus’, air conditioned and with a guide if you are too tired to see all what it has on offer.



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