Goa, often referred to as the “Pearl of the Orient,” is a coastal paradise in India known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history. Recently, the government of Goa has approved a groundbreaking policy named “Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026” to enhance the beach experience for tourists while promoting sustainable tourism and economic opportunities for the local community. This policy is set to redefine the beach scene in Goa.
Seasonal Structures by the Sea
One of the most exciting aspects of the “Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026” is the provision for the creation of seasonal structures along the beaches. These structures, including deck beds, umbrellas, and beach shacks, are designed to elevate the beach experience for visitors during the upcoming tourist seasons. This innovative approach aims to strike a balance between enhancing tourism and preserving Goa’s natural beauty.
Eco-Friendly Beach Shacks
Beach shacks, in particular, have always been a favorite among both domestic and international visitors. What makes these beach shacks even more appealing is their eco-friendly construction using raw materials such as wooden poles and bamboo. Not only do they blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, but they also provide employment opportunities for the local Goan population.
- Temporary Operation and Dismantling
According to the policy, these beach shacks will operate during the temporary tourist season, spanning from September 1 to May 31st. However, in a bid to maintain the pristine beauty of Goa’s beaches, the shacks are required to be dismantled by June 10 each year, ensuring minimal environmental impact.
- Allotment of Beach Shacks
The policy outlines strict guidelines for the allotment of beach shacks. In South Goa, a total of 105 shacks are permitted, while North Goa will have 259 shacks. The allocation of licenses for operating these shacks is determined through a draw of lots, with only one shack permitted per family. This approach ensures fairness and equal opportunities for all interested parties.
- Age Criteria
Applicants for beach shack licenses are required to be between the ages of 18 and 60. However, a significant portion of the shacks, 90 percent, will be allocated to applicants with a minimum of one year of experience in running beach shacks, while the remaining 10 percent will be reserved for those without such experience. This approach seeks to strike a balance between preserving traditional beach shacks and fostering innovation in the industry.
“Digital Coast” Initiative
Another exciting aspect of the policy is the introduction of the “Digital Coast.” Shack allottees will be provided with Point of Sale (POS) machines to facilitate digital transactions, ensuring convenience for customers and transparency in financial transactions.
Penalties for Violations
In an effort to enforce the policy’s guidelines and maintain quality standards, penalties have been introduced. For instance, the penalty for subletting a shack has been increased from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh. Additionally, there is a provision for imposing a fine of Rs 10,000 in case a toilet facility is found to be unhygienic, emphasizing the importance of cleanliness and sanitation on the beaches.
Balancing Tourism, Environment, and Local Economy
The “Goa State Shack Policy 2023-2026” is poised to bring about significant changes to the beach tourism landscape in Goa. While it faces its fair share of controversies, the policy aims to strike a balance between promoting tourism, preserving the environment, and providing economic opportunities for the local community. As Goa continues to enchant visitors with its breathtaking beaches, this policy sets a new standard for sustainable and responsible beach tourism.
Key takeaways for competitive examination
- Minister of Tourism of Goa : Rohan Khaunte