Casinos are important for the tourism profile of Goa and cannot be written off, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said Tuesday. He was speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of the state Tourism department.
"There are a few tourists who come to Goa to play in the casinos. They are important from the tourism point of view. You cannot write them off. We need to do whatever activities are required to attract tourists to Goa," he said.
He also said his government never spoke of removing casinos from the state.
The coastal state has six off-shore casinos and 12 operating from land.
He said the state government was planning a video campaign to boost tourism as foreign footfalls had decreased by 20 per cent in the season that just ended this week.
Mr Sawant said forest safaris would be promoted in the wildlife sanctuaries of the state. Goa gets around six million tourists, most of them domestic, annually.
Sawant took over as the Chief Minister after demise of Manohar Parrikar in March.
Sawant has retained all the portfolios, numbering over two dozens, which were with Parrikar. He had assured to allot some of them to his Cabinet colleagues in due course of time.
"Even if I had distributed the portfolios, the ministers would not have been able to work as the code of conduct is in force," he said.