What do you do when you plan to get married? Obviously you scurry for the right date first. Among the many things which may subsequently cross your mind a little later would be the wedding catering, decorations, choosing a theme, an exciting band, a good master of ceremonies , invitations and of course the perfect venue to host all of this on a day which could be easily labeled as one of the most important days of your life.
For a long time since liberation, Goa has enticed people from all over the world as a favourite tourist destination. Many people who visited Goa over the years have fallen in love with the Goan charm and have taken their love for Goa a step further by making it their wedding destination. These people may be from different parts of the world but their love for Goa and the lure for its beauty has endeared them so much that it has become their perfect venue to host the triumph of their love story.
For many, marriages have been dreamt with the Goan backdrop in mind and the thrill of Goa has been long visualized as a dream destination for a wedding. So, when the day of the wedding is fixed, planning the wedding in Goa has been an obvious decision. No doubt the likes of Mick Jaggers daughter, Kabir Bedi’s son, Mahesh and Lara Dutta or many other top notch industrialists or the heavily laden money bags of NRI Indians head towards Goa to ensure that their party has the right ambience, a festive spirit and a sense of nostalgic Goan leisure – a package which Goa seems to offer with its arms wide open.
The government of Goa has been mulling with the idea of planning and promoting Goa as an international destination for weddings. With plenty of couples from all over the world settling down for Goa to be their favourite haunt for their wedding celebration, is this idea from the Goa government in the right direction?
The idea of the government is to cash in on the huge demand for Goa as a wedding venue. Part of the plan is to select certain areas at specific beaches in Goa to be the sites for wedding celebrations in Goa. However these will come at a fee to be charged to the wedding couple of to the wedding planners in Goa. While charging a beach rental fee, the government also intends to provide the right impetus and facilities to justify such branding. Such arrangements could include granting an official temporary electrical connection, tourist police, garbage arrangements and a seamless path to make arrangements for a wedding celebration by offering a single window to address the specific market of weddings in Goa.
While Goa is already host to a large number of weddings every year, the government as a whole feels that it does not benefit specifically due to the wedding celebrations although with the relative wedding tourist inflow and benefits accruing from hotel bookings the government does get its revenues. However promoting Goa as a wedding hub not only for NRIs but the entire spectrum of clients from around the globe opens it as a new avenue for revenues on its own and this is what the Goa government plans to exploit.
However this approach, while intending an organizational form still lacks in merit due to the fact that infrastructure in Goa continues to be found wanting. Infrastructure and growth have not known to be in sync with each other and the endeavour is therefore bound to take its time although the government seems to be pretty serious in ensuring that infrastructure is consistent with the requirements of planning Goa as a wedding destination. Experts feel that among the many things that need to be addressed are the importance to maintain cleaner beaches, easy and wider roads to maneouvre and negotiate, enhancing the facilities at the Dabolim airport and enhancing its facilities closer to an international airport, a special cell in the tourism department which is dedicated to the wedding s in Goa , a single window system, an efficient event specific garbage disposal system, a more friendlier marriage registration system and a modest drive to publicise Goa as a wedding destination all over the world.
The culture of Goa and the western influence it carries are its biggest advantages to become a great hub for weddings. However if the government is indeed serious, it has to approach the idea of making Goa as a wedding destination in right earnest by taking in all the suggestions of the wedding industry in ensuring that the endeavour is not aimed only at earning revenues by charging fees but also ensuring that the approach is supportive and friendly to the wedding industry in Goa by providing the right kind of infrastructure, optimum use of resources and eliminating any red-tapism that could hamper the seamless hosting ofweddings in Goa.