Panjim, 13th May: The Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Mr. Manohar Ajgaonkar today flagged off the much awaited Hop on Hop off sight-seeing coach services amidst much fanfare. The launch of the new tourism initiative was held today at the Paryatan Bhavan, Patto, Panjim.
Other dignitaries present during the launch were Chairman, GTDC, Mr. Nilesh Cabral, Mayor, CCP, Mr. Surendra Furtado, Director of Tourism, Govt of Goa, Mr. Menino D’souza, MD, GTDC, Mr. Nikhil Desai and other officials from Goa Tourism.
Goa Tourism Development Corporation Ltd. (GTDC) has launched the new and swanky sightseeing coach service in association with Pune based Prasanna Purple Group. To be popularly called the Hop on Hop off (HOHO) buses, the royal red buses will offer tourists sightseeing circuits in and around the capital city, Old Goa, Miramar and Dona Paula to begin with. The HOHO service through open top Double Decker and Hydeck vehicles are all set to offer tourists an opportunity to explore Goa with leisure, flexibility and comfort.
The buses will move from Paryatan Bhavan giving tourists an experience to witness the Panjim Church, Palace of Arch Bishop, Miramar Beach, Goa Science Centre, Dona Paula, Kala Aacademy, Bhagwan Mahaveer Garden, Panjim Market, casino Point, River cruise point, Goa State Museum, Ribandar Patto Circle and back to Paryatan Bhavan.
The buses will operate from 9 am to 6 pm on regular basis. Some of the salient features of this new sightseeing coach service are local based multi-lingual running commentary, CCTV surveillance, GPS tracking, trained tour guides, guest relationship executives and more. Two separate routes have been proposed one each for the double decker buses and the hydeck buses. Tourists can avail of the tour services by taking a 1 or 2 day pass and multiple options for families and groups. The fares are reasonable priced at Rs 300 per head as a launch offer.
The Hon’ble Minister for Tourism, Mr. Manohar Ajgaonkar said, “The Double Decker sightseeing tours launched in Goa today will be a big attraction in the State not only for tourists but locals as well. Such new facilities will also give recognition to the state. We will also ensure safety and convenience of the passengers. This novel initiative will add one more feather to GTDC’s cap and I am extremely confident that it will drive in more tourists and success for Goa Tourism.”
Mr. Nilesh Cabral, Chairman of Goa Tourism Development Corporation said, “Goa Tourism is evolved as a Brand over the last five years and it is the endeavour of the GTDC to see that we make Goa a family holiday destination with initiatives like the Hop On Hop Off sightseeing coach services that can be enjoyed by all. The HOHO service will give a big boost to Goa Tourism and increase the number of products and services successfully provided by GTDC.”
Routes have been identified for operating the Hop on Hop off sightseeing tours and tourists will have the freedom of opting for any route, and have the advantage of touring the same at leisure. Initially four buses will be deployed for the purpose of operating the Hop on Hop off service and another 6 will be added on the fleet during the next one year.