In order to attract more tourists and further improve tourism services, the Government of Goa is in the process of introducing new technologies and mobile applications. Ameya Abhyankar, Director, Department of Tourism, Government of Goa, in an interview with Manish Arora of Elets News Network (ENN), speaks about various initiatives undertaken by them to improve e-services for tourists
What are the technology initiatives the Department of Tourism has undertaken?
We have a system of registering different kinds of tourist activities online like water sports,hotel, cabs and adventure sports. These things always used to happen manually, which, apart from creating a lot of papers, were also very much time taking. It also resulted in delayed services, which was completely unacceptable.In order to ease the process of registration of these services, we are coming up with a process of online registration from the comfort of your home. That would be like taking the registration service to your doorstep. A person would need to just file all the documents online and he would be given a token number. He would later receive an SMS about the status of his registration
When the registration process is completed, his document would be couriered to his address or he can collect it from the office directly. So,that would save a lot of time of the tourists.
We are also planning to roll out a Tourism Master Plan that will build a 25-year perspective on how the tourism industry should grow. We are also planning to make all beaches in Goa equipped with free wifi facility.
Technology helps in quick transfer of messages as well as documents, which in turn keeps delay in tourism services at bay. We would also be bringing in a system called TIME. This system is meant to capture tourist arrivals in Goa. Apart from that, we are soon going to come out with a special feedback plan form, where in tourists would be able to give their feedback on the services offered. This would be immediately passed on to the teams and the problems would be sorted out as soon as possible.
How do you keep the Department of Tourism personnel updated on latest IT tools?
We are quite an IT-savvy State, so we keep training our staff about the technology we implement in the Department. We organise training exercises and workshops at regular intervals, so that our teams are fully updated on IT. We are now looking for an outsourcing model, like vendor facility, to manage all our implementations.
How much important is mobile services with regard to the Department of Tourism in Goa?
Goa Tourism already has an app, which received a lot of feedback and queries from tourists. We will be building a multilingual app where people can easily book their services and get approvals over phone only. This app would benefit all tourists whether domestic or coming from other countries.