Goa to Introduce New Tourism Bill to Curb Touting and Enhance Tourist Safety

Goa to Introduce New Tourism Bill to Curb Touting and Enhance Tourist Safety

Goa to Introduce New Tourism Bill to Curb Touting and Enhance Tourist Safety

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The Goa state government plans to introduce a new tourism bill during the monsoon session of the state legislative assembly next month. The proposed law, titled “The Goa Tourism Promotion, Management and Regulation Bill, 2024,” aims to update and consolidate existing tourism laws to better protect and promote Goa’s natural and cultural heritage.

Key features of the draft bill include:

  1. Tourism Safety Force: A dedicated safety force comprising police personnel and “tourist guards” will be established to ensure tourist safety. This force will have the authority to arrest for non-bailable and cognizable offences, conduct searches, seize items, gather evidence, and impose fines for nuisances and touting.
  2. Tourism Guards: These guards will assist in preventing crimes against tourists, support local authorities in preventing drug trafficking and illegal liquor sales, detain violators, and alert tourists about potential threats.
  3. Repealing Old Laws: The new bill will replace the existing Goa, Daman and Diu Registration of Tourist Trade Act, 1982, and the Goa Tourist Places (Protection and Maintenance) Act, 2001.
  4. Sustainability Fee and Incentives: The bill introduces a sustainability fee for tourism enterprises and offers incentives for adopting sustainable practices, such as waivers on registration fees and grants for sustainable technology.
  5. Tourism Board: A tourism board will conduct periodic assessments of tourism clusters’ carrying capacities. If an area exceeds its capacity, new registrations and renewals for tourism enterprises in that area will be halted.

Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte emphasized the need for a legal framework to address touting and illegal activities, as current laws are inadequate. The draft bill has been made public for feedback from stakeholders, including industry associations, policy groups, and the general public.

The tourism safety force will have the authority to arrest individuals for non-bailable and cognizable offences, conduct searches, seize items in violation, secure evidence, and impose and collect fines for nuisances and touting. The draft states that this force will work in coordination with all state departments and agencies to ensure the safety and security of tourists in designated tourism areas.

The new legislation aims to modernize Goa’s tourism industry, promoting structured growth, sustainable practices, and improved safety and security for all tourists.

Joyville