A single e-platform for Goa trade

Data is going to be the main focus for Goa Tourism Development Corporation as it not only aims to bring all its  tourism stakeholders on to a single online platform but also set up AI-run chat-bots for tourists. GTDC has also come up with Registration Facilitation Centres for those who want to set up any tourism business.

Hazel Jain

The Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC), Government of Goa, has started work on getting all its tourism stakeholders under the organised sector. It has outsourced this to Goa Electronics that will do data collection of all tourism stakeholders. Goa Electronics is associated with GTDC for developing and maintaining its website, App and the state-owned online hotel bookings.

Explaining the thought process behind this, Revati Mujumdar, CEO and Executive Director, Goa Electronics, says, “COVID-19 has taught all of us a lesson or two, especially those in the technology domain. An important thing we realised in Goa is that data forms a major basis and a non-negotiable requirement of the entire planning system. So the entire focus of the state and the tourism industry has now shifted to creating a good warehouse or a database of each and every tourism stakeholder in the state. Whether it is the taxi driver, hotels, adventure sports, travel agents, or tourist guides – we want to bring them on a single platform. This is our prime requirement right now.” In terms of timelines, she adds that part of the framework or data structure of collation is already happening and will be in place in the next three months by September 2020. “The department has also come up with Registration Facilitation Centres (RFCs) for anyone who wants to set up any business in the tourism sector in the state. This is being done to bring transparency in the system and to ensure that the services are delivered in a time-bound way. The RFCs are set up to help businesses to register with the tourism department, whether it’s an activity, a service or a hotel. They can track their applications online. Very soon, we will come up with all of these registration facilities on an online platform,” Mujumdar reveals, adding that the RFCs are in place and they are the inlet points for this information. “A majority of the stakeholders have been brought onto the database. We are now more focused on areas like F&B outlets, etc,” she says.

Data harvesting

Another thing that GTDC is working towards is collection of tourist data entering Goa. “We have already started working on this. In fact, we are creating a policy of how we can get this information on to a single framework. Of course, we will have to tie up with everybody, including the airlines, railways, etc, who are getting these tourists in,” Mujumdar shares.

The second phase for this will specifically be about the personal touch. “Once we have the complete data in place, the AI-based chat-bots will be a major area that we will be working on very soon. It won’t just be about airlines or hotels, but very personalised information such as NLPs (Natural Language Processing). For instance, if a tourist is landing from Andhra and is looking for some place to eat, the bot should be able to tell them that there is a restaurant serving Andhra food close by,” she adds.

 

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