Panaji: Goa Tourism department Tuesday added another attraction for tourists in the coastal state with the launch of a vessel that can run on both land and water.
Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar launched the vessels popularly known as 'Duck Boats' which is a first of its kind facility being used for civilian purpose (joy rides) in India.
Parsekar flagged off the amphibian service and himself experienced the premiere ride in river Mandovi.
Full-fledged operations of the joy rides will begin in November, a department official said.
"We are very happy to start Duck Boat tours in Goa. The launch of these services will definitely boost tourism in the state," Parsekar said.
"With this service, we are optimistic about attracting high-end tourists who travel to enjoy unique experiences. An adventure service as unique as this will create excitement and attract tourists by tapping into their curiosity and thrill seeking instincts. It is a novel concept in India with the excitement of touring the state on land and water," he said.
State Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, also present on the occasion said, "the amphibian vessel rides is the first of its kind in India and Goa has the privilege of offering something new and novel to the tourists visiting Goa this season. It must be pointed out that the duck boats have been manufactured in Goa and will be operated by a Goa-based company".
The amphibian veseels have been manufactured by Goa-based Amphibious Design (India) Pvt Ltd and will be used for operations?by Amphibian Tours Pvt Ltd, the official said.
"The amphibious rides will be carried out with 2 vehicles to begin with and 4 more will be added to the fleet in a phased manner," he added.
One designated pick-up point at Panjim will cater to the tours along with different routes. Each tour will be for an hour and six time slots will be scheduled for each vehicle in a day.
The maximum capacity for each vehicle is 32 seats.Circuit tours will operate from Panjim to Old Goa and Dr Salim Ali bird sanctuary to showcase the natural and cultural treasures Goa has.
"These tours aim at entertaining and educating tourists about Goa's hinterland and its heritage. The vessels have been assembled in collaboration with Advanced Amphibious Design Inc Honolulu USA using a methodology and design which is cost effective, safe, durable and enjoyable," he said.