‘No dip in tourists despite relocation of EDM festivals outside Goa’

Panaji, Nov 11 (IANS) There will be no dip in tourist arrivals in Goa despite the relocation of two popular electronic dance music (EDM) festivals, scheduled to be held in the last week of December, out of the coastal state, Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said on Friday.

Parulekar told IANS that the coastal state, which attracts more than four million tourists every year, did not need to bank on electronic dance music festivals for footfalls.

“You know how many people come to Goa in December. People come for Goa’s culture not because of EDM. It will not affect (footfalls) much,” Parulekar said.

The two EDM festivals Sunburn and Supersonic, both of which were held in Goa in December for several years on the trot, have relocated outside the state.

Supersonic relocated to Pune after the state government took a policy decision two months back to not allow more than one mega-event in the last week of December, when the state is teeming with tourists.

Sunburn, which last month announced its decision to relocate from Goa, is currently wrangling with the state government over the issue of payment of back-dues.

While the Goa government has claimed that Sunburn organisers owe the state police department Rs 1.75 crore in dues for hiring of police personnel for providing security for the event, Sunburn in turn has claimed that the Goa government owes the organisers Percept Ltd. over Rs 6 crore.

“Percept has been persistent in its efforts to recover dues totalling to over Rs 6 crore from the Government of Goa since five years. This includes recoverable deposits of Rs 1.25 crore towards Sunburn, Rs 3.03 crore for Lusifonia Games, Rs 50 lakhs for Windsong Music Festival and Rs 51 lakhs Entertainment Tax refund for the year 2014 and 2015,” according to Global CEO of Sunburn Karan Singh.

Parulekar on Friday, however, denied the charge made by Singh, adding that the Goa government does not owe Percept Ltd.

“I am telling you, it (Rs 6 crore in dues) is totally wrong. If governemnt owes them money, they would not have waited, they would have gone to court,” Parulekar said.