Mumbai: To provide tourists an opportunity to explore the rich geography of the state, the Tourism Department of Goa will launch hot air balloons and amphibious vessels for them this summer.
"Both adventure services will focus on highlighting Goa's hinterlands and will give tourists an opportunity to explore the rich geography of Goa via the sky and the waterways," Goa Tourism Development Corporation Chairman (GTDC) Nilesh Cabral said in a release issued here.
Two agencies have been selected for running these high- end tourism services to come up in April that aims for a dedicated, safe and thrilling experience for tourists, he added.
Camping Retreats, a Delhi-based agency, has been selected to provide the Hot Air Ballooning service, while US-based consortium with D'Souza Leisure of Goa will run the Amphibious vehicles service.
Buoyed by the success of white water rafting and women taxi services in 2014, GTDC has decided to expand tourism experience and launch these new ventures as part of the larger plan, he said.
As many as six amphibious vehicles, which can operate both on land and water will be introduced utilising Goa's wide networking of ferry ramps.
The venture will further facilitate 'Hop On Hop Off' tours along with Goa's inland waterways and chain of jetties and ferry ramps, bird watching tours and eco-tourism tours.
As many as 34 passengers can be accommodated in the vessel per trip for a duration of 30 minutes to an hour.
These boats will be manufactured in Goa based on the US technology, in collaboration with AGCL-Goa.
These amphibious vehicles will be the first of its kind for use by tourists in the country.
The hot air ballooning safaris will be designed by Camping Retreats and will induct two hot air balloons in the introductory phase.
The initial plan is to introduce hot air balloon tours in Dudhsagar water falls.
"With the launch of the two new products, Goa will have a strong portfolio to present to the world and India and increase footfalls further in the months to come," Managing Director of GTDC Nikhil Desai said.
Desai said the joint ventures between GTDC and the two agencies is expected to generate a Rs 60 lakh per annum for GTDC alone.
"We will be investing in these ventures but will provide networking, promotion, marketing and permissions required by the service providers," he added.
The two new products will give a boost to eco-tourism and also provide employment opportunities for Goans, he said.