Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/captured_by_badri/2515311271/sizes/z/
While most foreign tourists from the UK and Europe prefer a tuk-tuk ride, Indian tourists to Goa simply must go on a Mandovi Cruise atleast once during their Goa holiday.
The Mandovi Cruise Boat jetty is a 5 minute walk from my Mitaroy Heritage Homestay in Fontainhas, Panaji’s Latin Quarter, and I used to often take a walk in the evening to the jetty to watch the tourists as they waited eagerly to board the Mandovi Cruise Boats for their evening entertainment.
However, as is often the case in areas with high tourist demand, touts – so called “agents” – were duping the innocent tourists and harassing them.
In order to weed out these touts and make the experience more pleasant for tourists, Mandovi Cruise boat operators in Panaji have now decided to unite under one banner to streamline the Mandovi Cruise business that attracts over 3,000 tourists each day.
In one of the biggest changes to their business on the Mandovi river since they started out in 1984, the Mandovi cruise boat operators have decided to introduce single window system for ticketing as well as streamlining the entertainment services offered on their Mandovi Cruise Boats. The state-run Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) has done great work in bringing all the Mandovi Cruise boat operators under one banner by doing away with their separate ticket counters and operating from a single window.
As a result, tourists will now be able to easily purchase tickets for the Mandovi Cruise Boats at one single window, thus reducing the commotion and confusion that usually ensued. I remember watching the mad rush by touts and Mandovi Cruise Boat operators alike.
Now that the boats will leave the jetty at regular intervals, thus cooperating and not competing against one another, the rush to attract tourists will also be a thing of the past.
Any move to simplify the life of the Goan tourist can only be welcomed wholeheartedly. Tourism Minister Deepak Parulekar must be congratulated on his efforts to streamline and simplify the processes that tourists were faced with in purchasing tickets for the Mandovi Cruise Boats.
Have you purchased a ticket in the new single window ? Do let me know about your experience in the comments…