A deep dive into culinary and cultural fusion in Goa
The state has evolved into a hub for opulent hospitality
In the latest episode of BW HOTELIER’s webBLAST series, The GM Show Season 2, the focus was on Goa’s opulent odyssey as a luxurious getaway. The discussion, moderated by Bhuvanesh Khanna, CEO, BW Communities, BW Businessworld, with industry experts, provided a comprehensive insight into the state’s appeal, woven with the threads of culture, culinary delights and diverse experiences.
The esteemed panellists included Tanveer Kwatra, General Manager, W Goa Hotel; Amandeep Singh Grover, General Manager, Hilton Goa Resort; Neha Chhabra, General Manager, JW Marriott Goa and Sanjay Pagi, General Manager, Mercure Goa Devaaya Resort. “When we talk about tourism, Goa is the backbone of tourism for India,” asserted Kwatra, setting the stage for an exploration into the thriving world of luxury in the sunshine state. Goa, often synonymous with beaches and parties, has evolved into a hub for opulent hospitality that caters to the discerning travellers.
“Comparing pre-Covid and post-Covid data, the market has grown by 15 per cent. This shows that the future of Goa, especially in the luxury segment, is bright,” Kwatra revealed, pointing towards a renaissance in the hospitality industry. It’s not just a destination for backpackers; Goa is now a haven for those seeking the pinnacle of luxury experiences. In an era where experiences matter more than possessions, Goa is positioning itself as the epitome of extravagance. “People are looking for luxury experiences, and that is the focus driving Goa’s hospitality,” he declared, emphasising the paradigm shift in what travellers seek.
The culinary canvas of Goa, painted with diverse influences, is a masterpiece in and of itself. “Goa is the culinary capital of India; each day, new restaurants, bars, and cafes are joining the scene,” Kwatra remarked. Grover added depth to this culinary narrative, unveiling the richness of Goan food heritage. “A lot of people are not aware of the Goan food heritage. The state has 18 varieties of bread,” Grover shared, highlighting the gastronomic diversity that lies beneath the surface. At Hilton, the celebration of local culture takes a unique form with the organisation of ‘Poder Chronicles’ with the tagline, ‘Bread can be cool’,” Grover asserted, encapsulating the essence of blending tradition with contemporary flair.
Chhabra painted a vivid picture of Goa’s versatility. “The state has a mix of all kinds of luxury, from understated to opulent to extravagant luxury,” she said, making it clear that Goa caters to every taste. “There is something for everyone in Goa,” she added, emphasising the inclusivity of the luxury experience. She further elaborated on Goa’s appeal as the wedding capital, offering a plethora of options for every couple’s dream celebration. “It is versatile; one can create a beach wedding, a poolside wedding, a church wedding, or a shack wedding, and that is why it is the most favourable destination,” she enthused.
In an age of globalisation, connecting with local communities and cultures is becoming a travel trend. “In today’s world of globalisation, every traveller is seeking to connect with the local community and local culture for a meaningful experience,” stated Pagi. He revealed that most hotels in the region incorporate Portuguese influence in their architecture, creating a harmonious blend of tradition and modernity.
Hotels in Goa are not just providing a place to stay; they are creating immersive experiences that preserve and celebrate local culture. “By showcasing tradition and history, hotels are not only providing immersive experiences and memorable stays but also supporting and preserving local culture while celebrating it with guests,” said Pagi, encapsulating the symbiotic relationship between luxury hospitality and the preservation of Goa's rich heritage.
The episode ended with host Bhuvanesh Khanna thanking the esteemed panellists for sharing their thoughts and views on the subject and informing everyone about the next edition of The GM Show on Goa Tourism Unveiled: A Benchmark for Indian Hospitality at 4 pm on November 24.
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