The Grape Escapade, an annual wine festival, will be held from Feb 4-7 and the Goa Carnaval will be held from Feb 6-9.
All the big names in the wine industry converge at the globally well-known Grape Escapade to discuss, taste wines and engage with other business stakeholders in the tourism and the hospitality sector.
The two festivals have been dovetailed to allow visitors to enjoy the best of both, said Nikhil Desai, Managing Director, Goa Tourism Development Corporation.
The Goa Carnaval is a legacy from the times Goa was a Portuguese colony.
Goa's tourism minister, Dilip Parulekar, said, “The Goa Carnaval is a colourful and vibrant spectacle which gives one a glimpse into Goa’s glorious past and is a shining example of how traditions have been carried over time.” He also added, “Since this is a one-of-a-kind event, we have people from all over the globe coming in. While the spirit of this celebration is contagious, we have taken into account aspects like safety, security and cleanliness, which will ensure that the celebration is a truly memorable one.”
Palomi Ghosh, one of the lead actors of the Konkani film, Nachom-ia Kumpasar (Let's dance to the rhythm), was also present at the meet.
Ghosh will be accompanying King Momo, the legendary character who declare the Carnaval open, in his float, which leads the procession of floats.
The word Carnval is derived from the Latin expression 'carne vale', which means 'farewell to meet'. The festival is observed just before Lent of the Christian calendar.
The main float parade will be held in Panjim, on Feb 6, followed by float parades in Margao (Feb 7), Vasco (Feb 8) and Mapusa (Feb 9).
The 2016 Carnaval is going to be a special one. Titled Destination Carnaval, it is part of a project in association with a Liverpool, UK-based arts organisation, Brouhaha International, and is aimed at exchange of ideas and talents across three countries, namely UK, South Africa and India (Goa).
According to Desai, Goa is very keen to promote itself as an adventure tourism destination.
While full-fledged operations of hot air balloons have begun, that of seaplanes and amphibious vessels (Duck Boats) are likely to start in Feb 2016. Helicopter rides, motorized paragliding, Segway tours, bungee jumping, scuba diving and horse riding trails are also set to begin with a few weeks.
On Jan 26, Goa Tourism will launch its heli-tourism project.
Minister Parulekar emphasized on the safety aspect, especially for women, and said Goa has introduced a women taxi service for more than a year now; only women and families are allowed to travel in these taxis.
Security on the beaches have been strengthened with a beach patrol of 676 trained life guards posted at the popular beaches; an additional 117--people strong patrols the beaches until midnight; the tourist police keeps a watch on touting.
Talking to IBNS, Desai said, Goa Tourism is using the social media to spread awareness about pollution. While visitors are reminded to keep the beaches clean, there is also a stringent beach cleaning policy in place. There is a waste treatment facility in north Goa.