Government of Goa and MakeMyTrip Forge Historic Partnership

Government of Goa and MakeMyTrip Forge Historic Partnership

New Delhi, February 22, 2024In a landmark initiative, the Department of Tourism, Government of Goa, and MakeMyTrip have today inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signifying a ground-breaking public-private partnership, the very first of its kind. This collaborative effort aims to propel tourism in Goa into a vibrant, year-round destination, moving beyond its iconic sun, sand, and beaches.

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Goa is the first state in India to launch Regenerative Tourism initiative. The MoU, which outlines a series of innovative initiatives aimed at showcasing Goa’s lesser-known inland treasures, its rich cultural tapestry and delectable culinary traditions, is the next step ahead. The Tourism Minister of Goa expressed immense pride in this collaboration, emphasizing the government’s commitment to transforming Goa.

A Historic Partnership: Shri Suneel Anchipaka, IAS, Director Tourism & MD, GTDC Goa Administration, and Mr Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip, shake hands after signing a landmark MOU in the esteemed presence of Shri Rohan Khaunte, Minister of Tourism, IT, E&C, and Printing and Stationery, Government of Goa, and Mr Sanjeev Ahuja, Secretary, Goa Tourism. This collaboration marks a significant milestone in promoting tourism in Goa.

During the signing ceremony Shri Rohan Khaunte, Minister of Tourism, IT, E&C, and Printing and Stationery, Government of Goa said, “Our collective vision of Goa Beyond Beaches is to bring the hidden splendours of Goa to the forefront, celebrate its rich cultural heritage, take tourism to the hinterlands of Goa and ensure sustainable and regenerative tourism practices that preserve our natural resources for generations to come. Our partnership with MakeMyTrip will help us introduce tourists to the heart and soul of Goa, ensuring that the economic benefits of tourism are equitably distributed across the state.”

MakeMyTrip’s involvement is critical in this endeavour, as the company brings its expertise in digital innovation and marketing, contributing to further broaden the reach and appeal of Goa tourism. The travel major will highlight the state’s inland cultural richness and culinary traditions, which usually take a back seat to popular coastal attractions by curating a Cultural Map of Goa, pushing various initiatives to promote the multi-faceted state, and exposing potential travellers to the depth of delights that the state has to offer.

“We are excited to embark on this journey with the Government of Goa,” said Rajesh Magow, Co-founder and Group CEO, MakeMyTrip. “Our efforts will be directed towards showcasing the unexplored facets of Goa, promoting homestay penetration across the interiors of Goa and collaboratively nurture a sustainable tourism ecosystem.”

The spokesperson outlined MakeMyTrip’s plans, including curating unique travel itineraries, and promoting various festivals of Goa. “Through this MOU, we are not just promoting tourism – we are nurturing it to be adaptive, inclusive, and sustainable. This is about contributing to create a Goa that is as enduring as it is enchanting.” Rajesh emphasized.

Shri Suneel Anchipaka, IAS, Director Tourism & MD, GTDC Goa Administration, who was also in attendance at the ceremony added, “We are also focused on spotlighting Goa on the spiritual tourism map of India combining it with the wellness options the state has to offer. We have launched the Ekadasha Teertha campaign as part of our Regenerative Tourism initiative where we are connecting eleven places of worship to form a travel circuit. We are working towards building plastic-free and sustainable ecosystems in and around these sites to ensure the growth is in the right direction vis-à-vis the hosts and the tourists. Our endeavour is to make Goa a host-centric, people-first tourism destination.”

A central feature of this MOU is the commitment to sustainable tourism, aligning it with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) emphasized by Goa Tourism and the Goa Roadmap, a significant outcome of India’s G20 Tourism Track. MakeMyTrip’s involvement will extend beyond promoting sustainable stay and visit options to the realm of education for visitors to the state. Goa has a well drafted Homestay policy for this purpose. In collaboration with the Government of Goa, the company will use over 500,000 single use plastic bottles to construct a public art display that serves as a symbol to environmental preservation and a stark reminder of the importance of sustainable practices in tourism.

With Goa being the first state in India to launch Regenerative Tourism, in the next thirty-six months the department’s goal is to promote environmental restoration, cultural preservation, and community empowerment by means of four paths – spirituality, indigeneity, civilizational and cultural nationalism, and conscious tourism.

The Ekadasha Teertha or the Eleven Places of Transformation are centred around local communities, especially the women and the youth and meant to encourage the travel and tourism sector in India to adopt maintainable practices that benefit both the environment and the human population.

The Goa Tourism Minister Shri Rohan Khaunte concluded by emphasizing that this MoU is more than just an agreement, it is a testament to a long-term vision for Goa, ensuring the preservation of its cultural and natural heritage for future generations.

Rabindra

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