PANAJI: The Goa Cabinet has approved the new tourism policy which stresses on making the state free of drugs and prohibits tourists from cooking in open areas.
State Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar told reporters that the Pramod Sawant-led cabinet on Wednesday approved the Tourism Policy-2020, which will give a "proper direction to the industry".
"We want good tourists to arrive here. We should not be looked upon as a drug destination. Our attempt is to make Goa a drug-free state," he said.
Under the new policy, tourists who arrive in groups and cook in the open spaces would be penalised, he said.
The policy also envisages formation of Goa Tourism Board, with the inclusion of stakeholders from the industry to chalk out short and long-term goals for tourism in the state, the minister said.
He said the tourism policy aims to promote Goa's beauty and nature, including the hinterland, taking away exclusive focus from the beaches.
"The state is known for its heritage and natural beauty. Our focus would be to concentrate on these aspects to attract more tourists," the minister said.
The policy would be adopted into a law during the next session of the state Assembly, he added.