Panaji, June 21 (IANS) Goa has sought Rs.400 crore from the central govenment, especially for creating tourism avenues in the hinterland, where a mining ban as left several thousand people unemployed.
Speaking to reporters at the state Secretariat Friday, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said that he had already spoken to union Tourism Minister Chiranjeevi about the allocation.
"Our decision to seek Rs.400 crore happened after a meeting with Chiranjeevi recently in London. With mining banned, we are trying to create new tourism and employment opportunities in the hinterland, where there was only mining once," Parulekar said.
The tourism minister also said that the money would be used to create infrastructure for eco-tourism and rural tourism projects like small fishing jetties, river rafting and para-gliding facilities, heritage tourism development, etc.
Paurlekar said that the Goa government was trying to pick lessons in promoting rural tourism from countries like Israel which excelled in it.
He said that the money sought from the union tourism ministry would help to beef up the infrastructure in the interior regions of Goa, which unlike the coastline have been unable to reap the fruits of tourism.
"Building tourism related infra-structure in the interiors of Goa will also take the pressure off from the coastline, which gets most of the tourists," Parulekar said.
Goa annually attracts over 2.5 million tourists, of whom half a million are foreigners.