No application to hold EDM festival in Goa this year: Tourism Minister

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PANAJI: Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has said no organiser has approached the government to conduct the electronic, dance and music (EDM) festival in December this year in the coastal state.

Earlier, EDM festivals like ‘Sunburn’, ‘Supersonic’ and ‘TimeOut 72’ were quite popular among tourists around Christmas in the coastal belt of North Goa district.

‘TimeOut 72’ was held in the state in December last year, but ‘Sunburn’ shifted its venue to Pune in the neighbouring Maharashtra state after 2015.

“We want the EDM festivals to happen in Goa. But since no one has applied, we can’t do anything about it. Goa is known for music and dance, and we want such festivals to happen during the tourist season,” Ajgaonkar told PTI Friday.

Asked if the absence of such festivals will have an impact on the tourist footfalls, he said, “Nothing can be said about it. People come to Goa for its beauty but festivals also add to the attraction.” The Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), an umbrella organisation of tour operators, feels the absence of EDM festivals will affect the tourist footfalls.

“The exact figures are not known, but a large number of tickets sold for such events held in previous years indicate that visitors enthusiastically participate in them,” TTAG president Savio Messiah said.

Since 2007, the Sunburn festival led to a huge increase in tourism-related activities in Goa, another TTAG member claimed.

“The attendance at the four-day Sunburn festival at Vagator in North Goa in 2015was around 70,000. Even if we assume that around 15 per cent of the participants were local Goans, the rest 60,000 came from across India and other countries,” he said, on condition of anonymity.

He said as per a conservative estimate, these visitors spend an average Rs 15,000 per day on the hotel stay, food, beverages, local travel and shopping.

With this estimate, the average seven-day visit cost for those coming to attend a festival like Sunburn would be a whopping Rs 630 crore, he claimed.