Days before Goa Carnival 2014, state Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar addressed the media in Bangalore Tuesday. He said a host of events had been lined up this year to promote Goa as a destination for celebration.
“We are ready to welcome 2.5 lakh tourists,” Parulekar said. “Goa is not just another beach. The state celebrates festival after festival throughout the year.” The four-day carnival, which begins March 1, will showcase the best of Goan food and culture and feature musicians from across the country.
Next on the state calendar was Shigmo, the spring festival, which would be celebrated between March 16 and March 31, said Nikhil Desai, director of tourism, Government of Goa. “This will be followed by a five-day cashew and coconut festival in May,” he said.
About 4 lakh tourists and pilgrims from Karnataka visit the neighbouring state every year. Addressing safety concerns in the aftermath of several crimes against tourists in Goa, Parulekar said the state had taken several precautionary measures.
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Besides the 150-plus reserve police deployed at major beaches, the state had enlisted lifeguards to patrol the 105-km coastline at night, Desai said. “We are very close to launching a cab service by women and a mobile application for safety,” he said.