On the occasion of the sixty-second anniversary of the Liberation of Goa,
Goa Tourism is thrilled to announce the launch of a ground breaking model for regenerative tourism. This
innovative approach aims to redefine the tourism industry in India by promoting environmental
restoration, cultural preservation, and community empowerment by means of the four paths of
spirituality, indigeneity, civilisational and cultural nationalism and conscious tourism.
Aligning itself to the values and aspirations of the famous Manila Declaration of World Tourism of 1980 and
the more recent G20 tourism ministers working group meet in Goa that came up with the Goa roadmap for
tourism as a vehicle for achieving the sustainable development goals, the Department of Tourism in Goa
promises to transform the state into a model for regenerative tourism in India.
“With the launch of the Ekadasha Teertha, we are giving Indian tourism a fresh look with an emphasis on
spirituality, indigeneity, cultural and civilizational nationalism, and conscious tourism. Through travel and
pilgrimage, the Indian people have expanded their geographical knowledge throughout millennia, freeing
themselves from the constraints of regionalism and parochialism. We are committed to making a positive
difference in the environment, culture, and communities we interact with, and this is reflected in our
support of regenerative tourism in Goa. Our goal in introducing this model is to encourage the travel and
tourism sector to adopt sustainable practices that benefit both the environment and human population,”
said Mr. Rohan A. Khaunte, Minister of Tourism, Goa.
The United Nations' World Tourism Organization defines Regenerative Tourism as "tourism that takes full
account of its current and future economic, social and environmental impacts, addressing the needs of
visitors, the industry, the environment and host communities”. The Ekadasha Teertha are spiritual sites to
be decided by the Department of Tourism in consultation with the communities around these sites.
“The key is to develop mutual respect and appreciation between the visitors and the hosts. We are all
involved in this project and it is important to have a sense of ownership over and investment in each other
and the planet. Our focus is to build communities. We are in advanced talks with entrepreneurs and
innovators in the tourism sector to help local women and youth get first-hand experience on becoming
commercial partners in the Ekadasha Teertha endeavour,” said Mr. Suneel Anchipaka, IAS Director,
Tourism & Managing Director, GTDC.
In the decades following liberation, Goa strategically embraced tourism, leveraging its historical global
connections and scenic beaches for economic growth. This led to the acquisition of distinctive attributes,
positioning Goa as a gateway to and from India to the globe.
“Facing unique challenges, including competition from countries like Thailand and Indonesia, modern cities
like Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, and large Indian states, Goa has set its sights on innovative solutions post-
COVID. Emphasizing technology adoption and collaboration, the focus is on making people and
communities decision-makers in the tourism sector,” Mr. Khaunte said adding that Goa is transitioning
from a sea-shore centric tourism model to a more inclusive, people-centric approach. The impact of
climate change and democratization calls for a paradigm shift beyond sustainability towards regenerative
According to Mr. Anchipaka, “The introduction of the new tourism policy in 2020 reflected a commitment
to cultural immersion. The emphasis on homestays, run by local families within communities, allows
visitors to engage with the authentic culture, lifestyle, and values of the place.”
We envisage a future where tourists and hosts are equal players, determining the destiny not just of Goa
and India but of the Earth itself. This shift empowers local communities and fosters a shared experience
between hosts and tourists, Mr. Khaunte asserted.
The Goan model of regenerative tourism will promote environmental restoration, cultural preservation,
and community empowerment through four paths: spirituality, indigeneity, civilizational and cultural
nationalism, and conscious tourism.
Recognizing the link between tourism and spirituality, the path of spirituality emphasizes the total
fulfillment of the human being, contribution to education, equality of the destiny of nations, liberation of
man, and affirmation of the originality of cultures.
Acknowledging the complex relationship between tourism and indigenous communities, this path seeks to
bring economic opportunities and cultural exchange while addressing the challenges to cultural integrity,
social structures, and the natural environment.
Aligning with global trends, this path, under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi,
positions tourism as a tool in economic and commercial diplomacy. Highlighting historical landmarks,
cultural festivals, and traditional practices reinforces a sense of national pride and identity.
Addressing concerns about environmental issues, habitat destruction, and waste generation, this path
emphasizes community-centric, eco-friendly initiatives, responsible tourism practices, and sustainable
The Ekadasha Teertha Campaign unfolds in the regions of eleven places of worship in Goa. By involving
local communities, especially women and youth, in exploring, understanding, and projecting their culture,
cuisine, and lifestyle, Goa Tourism aims to harness the commercial and economic potential of their own
history and heritage.
“This transformative journey requires the support and participation of everyone. We urge members of the
civil society to be the voice of the people, communities, and innovative women and youth. Your role is
crucial in spreading awareness and encouraging positive change. Journeys like these need evaluation,
criticism, ideals, and role models. We express our gratitude to all of Goa and Goans for their ongoing
support. Together, let us shape a future of regenerative tourism, making a positive impact on the
environment, culture, and communities,” Mr. Khaunte said.