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Reinventing Goa, India's hedonistic beach hideaway

January 12, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 21%. 2 min read.

Formed in 2018, the Responsible Tourism Collective of Goa is a group of 20-odd tourism businesses that is committed to promoting responsible and sustainable travel. We find out how they are working to reinvent this popular beach destination for the better.

She runs a marine conservation-based social enterprise called Terra Conscious, which offers a variety of both land and water based tours.

Mitra explains that Terra Conscious has partnered with the traditional dolphin-watching boat operators to give them a bigger slice of the business while at the same time raising their operational standards to comply with globally accepted ethical norms of running such trips.

But its most innovative program is perhaps a partnership with the Goa Forest Department, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) India and Drishti Marine Services, in which it reports on (and rescue if possible) marine life that gets stranded on Goa's numerous beaches.

Goa has a rich cultural heritage stemming from centuries of Hindu, Muslim and Christian rule under the Portuguese, a fact often overlooked by the crowds rushing for the beaches and casinos.

Founded by travel specialist Maria Victor in 2015, Make It Happen is an experiential travel company that aims to expose tourists to this heritage through guided walks and local experiences.

Victor is a strong believer in community-based tourism, meaning Make it Happen contributes to the local economy through its tours by livelihood creation (patronizing cafes and eateries en route and supporting local musicians and dancers).

"We curate experiences for life lessons to unfold with every personal interaction on our tours," says Victor.

The entire tour is fun and fulfilling, the extreme professionalism of the crew and the detailed knowledge-based briefing given by Ribo ensuring a positive experience with water.

Behind-the-scenes, Konkan Explorers is committed to protecting the environment it operates in, with the entire crew taking part in a clean-up drive on the river every two weeks.

"At Cabo Serai, we are proud to have instilled a culture of mindfulness in our staff and in our product which allows us to offer guests a true experience of well-being and sustainability," explains resort director Trupti Wesley.

In terms of community engagement, Cabo Serai hires a considerable number of its staff from the surrounding villages, organizes clean-up beach drives and sterilizes and feeds the stray dogs in the vicinity of the resort.

For those looking to explore, Cabo Serai offers some very interesting trails with panoramic cliffside views, including one to the distant fort of Cabo De Rama, one of Goa's five key forts.

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