Goa is famous for the destination weddings and its quantum is quite high in the state. According to the sources, Goa gets around 800 high-end weddings per year which naturally generates the huge amount of revenue to the state. But now according to the new developments, the destination beach weddings will be restricted on the Goan beaches and it will not be allowed in the eco-sensitive zones anymore. This may result in many businesses getting affected due to the government decision but saving the beaches of Goa has become the priority of the state government now.
Based on the information available from the reliable sources, the picture perfect weddings on Goa’s sandy beaches, with the Sun setting in background, have finally received a reality check with the National Centre for Sustainable Coastal Management, which reports to the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change, saying beach weddings should not be permitted in ecologically sensitive areas.
According to the sources, the coastal management authority had submitted the report to the state on this issue. The report contains the guidelines for the use of beaches or private lands in coastal regulation zone (CRZ) area for the recreational activities such as destination weddings and private parties. The management authority has recommended that the permission for the beach wedding should be given only after the nod from Goa Coastal Zone Management Authority.
It may be recalled that the recent news on the turtle nesting has flashed in the various media which already created a huge amount of curiosity in the tourist and locals alike. According to the reports, Goa has around six turtle nesting sites where one can spot the famous Olive Ridley Turtles. These sites are spread across four beaches in the south and north Goa and those beaches are known as Turtle Beach. These beaches are already declared as eco-sensitive zones and are protected by the Goa Coastal Management Authority.
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Goa being promoted by the Tourism Department as a wedding destination and people from across the country prefers to make use of this opportunity. But now this new development will make the situation little tough for them. As per the directives from the Costal Management authorities the wedding tourism activities will not be allowed in the ecologically sensitive zones. “Wedding tourism activities shall not be permitted in ecologically sensitive areas, sand dunes and designated turtle nesting sites. However, they could be permitted in other areas including private areas on a case to case basis with the prior permission of the GCZMA,” said the sources.
According to the reports, the destination weddings on Goa’s beaches have become a huge money-spinner for the state and a rough estimate by the government suggests that over 800 high-end weddings are organized in Goa annually. The events bring in ‘high quality’ tourists, including non-resident Indians (NRI) and overseas citizens of India (OCI) who spend large amounts of money and generate business for local entrepreneurs. The new development suggests that the beach wedding activities should follow the guidelines laid down by the Costal Management Authority and based on that, the stage for the beach weddings should be made temporary making it sure that vegetation does not get damaged in the CRZ areas. “Use of modular steel stages which can be easily assembled and dismantled should be adopted. The tourism department shall ensure that such beach wedding set ups do not unreasonably block free movement of public on beaches and no permanent damage should be caused to the beach and natural surfaces such as rock formations should not be altered or changed,” said the sources.
According to the sources, the above guidelines does not remain limited to the beach weddings alone, but the weddings organized in the villages, which falls within the scope of 200-meter CRZ line will also come under the purview of the above guidelines. The sources have further said that the tourism department has already stopped entertaining applications seeking permission to organize beach weddings unless applicants obtain permission from GCZMA, which has jurisdiction in CRZ areas. “There shall be no digging or disturbance of sand on public beaches. The structures should not remain for more than three days per event and should be dismantled,” says the report. Further, the report also states that cleanliness of the beaches shall be the complete responsibility of organizers when such weddings are organized on a public beach.
The above stringent guidelines may result in slowing down of the destination weddings in the state but it is necessary to protect the eco-sensitive zones. The human encroachment has no limits and if it has not stopped the whole ecosystem will collapse on the day. There is no doubt that, the destination weddings give good amount of revenue to the state and the businesses relied on this sectors, but at the same time the protection of the interest of the ecosystem is more necessary. In case you wish to share your views on this important topic, please do put it down in your comments at the bottom of this article and the Incredible Goa shall put them in front of the Tourism Department for the purpose of improvement in the system.