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Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has plans to make Ponda, a city located 28kms from Panaji, a meetings, incentives, conferencing and exhibitions (MICE) tourism hub. This decision follows the Annual Budget 2014, where Arun Jaitley, finance minister, Government of India allocated budgets to make Goa the MICE tourism hub of India. GTDC will commence the work for this project from August first week.
Speaking exclusively to Financial Express Online, Nikhil Desai, managing director, GTDC, said, “We are planning to convert the temple town of Ponda into a MICE tourism hub. Ponda is conveniently located near the capital city of Panaji. We will facilitate all necessary infrastructure for MICE tourists and also develop infrastructure for larger conventions.”
Also, GTDC is looking aggressively into the wedding event segment. Realising the potential in their state for destination weddings, the tourism board have recently announced a wedding show in New Delhi from August 16-17, 2014.
Dilip Parulekar, minister of tourism, Government of Goa, said, “The Indian wedding market is valued at US$ 38 billion a year and is expected to grow 25-30 per cent annually. We hope that this initiative will serve as a platform to bring together the best of Goa and showcase what makes the state such a viable wedding destination. We are optimistic about the success of this event and plan to make it an annual property.”
When asked about the incentives which will be provided for the wedding events in Goa, Parulekar, said, “We will provide a single window system for all the wedding events in Goa. This will be approved in a month or two. After the implementation of this system we will plan to introduce incentives into this space.”