Goa Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that casinos are one of the important parts of the tourism in the state as they attract tourists.
He was speaking during the launch of various projects under the 'Swades Darshan' scheme of the Union Tourism Ministry. Union Tourism Minister Prahlad Singh Patel was also present on the occasion.
"During one of the media interviews I was asked whether I support casinos. Casinos are one of the important parts of tourism as they attract tourists...Of course it is there," Sawant said.
He added that after the mining shutdown, tourism is the only industry in the state that is surviving.
"We are getting direct and indirect revenue from the tourism industry. Now it depends on the stakeholders how to grow the industry, while the government can provide necessary infrastructure for them," the chief minister said.
Sawant said the Goa government, with the help of the Centre, has managed to create 60 to 70 per cent infrastructure required for the tourism industry in the state.
"We want to make it 100 per cent," he said. According to the chief minister while emphasis has always been given on beaches and religious places in the
tourism sector, medical tourism is one segment where there is immense potential for growth.
He said the state government will amend existing Tourist Trade Act to encourage medical tourism segment.
Sawant also said that the tourism sector in Goa has been dominated by non-Goans who contribute for over 50 per cent of the workforce or investors.
"We want more Goans to get involved in the tourism sector. We have lost several of our industrial sectors to non-Goans and we are facing bad consequences of it," he added.