Goa out to impress international visitors

2nd May 2013

The Indian state of Goa is trying to top up its international allure by redeveloping key sites in the region.

The state has selected 18 places of interest for beautification in the hope of attracting more international visitors to its shores.

Goa, located in a region of west India known as the Konkan, is India's smallest state by area and the fourth smallest by population.

Until 1961 it was ruled by Portugal and became a playground for hippies, bohemians and beatniks in the sixties and seventies.

Nowadays travellers visit Goa to idle on its sun-kissed beaches, meet domesticated elephants and buy beautiful jewellery and brightly coloured saris at bargain prices.

The state also has two World Heritage Sites, the churches and convents of Old Goa and the Bom Jesus Basilica, which holds the remains of St Francis Xavier, regarded by many Catholics as the patron saint of Goa.

A number of sites have been inspected for the makeover, with upgrades set to take place if the funding and land is available, tourism minister Dilip Parulekar said.

However, planners are focusing their attentions on Saligao, a town next to the developed tourist belt of Calangute and Candolim.

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