Goa is known as the “Rome of the East” having an area of 3702 Sq. Km. of lush green mountains, blue waters and white sands, winding rivers and picturesque villages with local flora and fauna Goa is thus famous for tourism. Tourism is important because it helps to maintain goa’s economy and also great contributors to exchange. Besides tourism there is mining, farming and fishing as the other important occupations of the people. It is a small state, with 140 km from North to South and 65 Km from East to West. Goa beaches has become the major attraction for the tourists such as Agonda, Calangute, Candolim, Dona Paula etc. besides this there are also churches like Basilica of Bom Jesus, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Augustine and others. The state is famous for unending carnivals; Christmas parties and the sunburn festival are the centre of attraction for massive crowd. Goa receives largest number of tourist from Germany, Finland, UK, France, USA etc. The domestic tourists come from all over India as it is very popular tourist’s destination. Goa caters to the tastes of various tourists through the various types of tourism such as Beach Tourism, Adventure tourism, Wildlife Tourism, Pilgrimage Tourism and Cultural Tourism.
Having a coastline of 105 km, the beaches of Goa are a very important tourist attraction. From Keri in the north to Palolem in the south, Goa has many world famous beaches like Arambol, Colva,Vagator, Anjuna (known for its flea market),Baga Calangute, Palolem and many other small lesser known beaches where the tourists can relax, soak up the sun and feast on the local cuisine. Goa also has a very good potential for activities like trekking, paragliding, dolphin sighting, boating, go-carting and mountain climbing.Goa has 4(four) wild life sanctuaries, one wild life national park and one bird sanctuary. A lot of tourist visit these sanctuaries every year. Goa has a variety of flora and fauna which are also used to attract tourists. Goa also has two beautiful lakes, at Mayem and Carambolim, where migratory birds are sighted in large number., Goa is also famous for its religious places and it is a major reason why tourists all over the world come to these places to visit them. The World Heritage Site at Old Goa is a major tourist attraction with a large number of churches such as St Cajetan church, St Francis of Assisi Church and Convent, Basilica of Bom Jesus, Se Cathedral, the Archaeological Museum, the Christian Art Museum, the ruins of the Church and Monastery of St Augustine, The Chapel of St Catherine, the Viceroy’s Arch, Chapel of St Anthony (opposite the ruins of the Church of St Augustine) Convent of Santa Monica. Besides this there are many other beautiful churches and temples all over Goa. Besides the churches in Old Goa we have the famous Mangueshi and Mardol temples as well as the Saptakoteshwar temples at Narve . Goa is also a land of rich and diverse culture and people of different religions who live peacefully together in harmony and are famous for their own traditions and culture. Goa hosts the famous Carnival and also in recent years, the IFFI. Besides, Bonderam at Divar , the Sangodd (Boat festival) and Taranga are also famous. Goa is also known for its traditional cultural dances and songs like Mandos, Fugddies, Goff, and many others. Goa has an architecturally rich heritage of the old Portuguese houses and has many forts like Chapora, Teracol and Alorna which attract the tourists. The Alorna fort is an attractive attraction for backwater Tourism.The Rivers flowing from the eastern Sahyadri Range to the western Arabian Sea, from north to south, include Tiracol, Chapora, Mandovi, Zuari, Sal and Talpona, winding through villages give support to the local economy, either for agriculture or for fishing.
Sustainable tourism is also important for goa. Sustainability means a process or state that can be maintained at a certain level indefinitely. Thus it is a process which takes care of tomorrow as well as today conserving resources which are necessary to ensure continuity. Sustainable tourism makes minimal impact on the environment and local culture by helping to generate income and employment for locals as well as for the conservation of local ecosystem. If tourism grows at a high rate, it tends to destroy or at least cause irretrievably damage to flora and fauna. Sustainable tourism is especially important for a small state like Goa because large number of both Indian and foreign tourists are increasing every year. Goa being a tiny state the carrying capacity of the state with regard to size, facilities available and the ecological fragility must be studied and taken into consideration while allowing tourism only then such tourism will be beneficial for the state and the people. Community-based management, nongovernmental organizations, tourists and locals all should be trained so that goan ecosystem does not suffer as a result of excessive tourism. The local community has an important role to play in sustainable tourism and they have to keep in mind certain points if they wish to continue tourism to be the mainstay for the economy of the state The local people should be courteous to the tourists and help them to have a wonderful holiday. They should not harass the tourists by staring at them and following them unnecessarily. There should be no over charge for tourists with regard to transport or food.
The local’s should not force tourists to buy their products such as the harassment done by local vendors and the small children who continuously follow them in order to buy their products.
Tourism has brought a positive impact on goa in many ways like financial contributions with regard to this it has been one of the largest contributors to the exchequer. Goa’s economy receives a major boost from the tourist industry. Goa, a tourist paradise for both domestic and foreign tourists, it attracts tourists in thousands. Being immensely gifted by nature for its scenic beauty, beautiful beaches girdling its 105-km long palm-fringed coast interspersed with enchanting coves, bays and estuaries, paddy fields, shady coconut, cashew and mango groves dotted with tiny picturesque villages, temples and churches renowned for worship and pilgrims, forts. Tourism is so prominent that the number of tourists almost equals the number of state population. Tourism has also helped goa with regard to employment. Because tourism has given rise to many hotels across goa, many goan youth pursue their career in such hotels. As a result of tourism the booming hotel industry has catered the financial needs of the weaker sections of the society. This helped them to earn their livelihood. Hotel management courses set up by the goa government are giving more of the local unemployed the skills to secure higher paid jobs in the industry.
To conclude I would say that Tourism in goa has had a positive effect on many businesses including bars and restaurants, boutiques, construction, cinemas, bakeries, shacks, local stalls, etc. The earnings from tourism has helped to raise investments required to sustain a tourism that is linked to historic and cultural places in Goa the heritage places within Goa. Tourism is a big business in Goa, and one that is continuously growing. The modern world is full of stress and people search new ways to relax themselves and thus come to Goa in search of a peaceful life and break from all the stress and become refreshed and rejuvenated.