Casinos in Goa will soon be able to bring in their customers in style via helicopter rides, offering them both the luxury of speed and convenience. This new initiative rolled out by Goa Tourism intends to connect the casinos with helipads to the city and other tourism hubs with six-seater helicopters.
Pawan Hans, a helicopter service owned by India’s central government is launching its “heli-tourism” service in Goa by which tourists can go on sight-seeing tours in a helicopter. The company launched these services in Goa on the 31st of January 2016.
In a statement, B.P Sharma, chairman and managing director of Pawan Hans said, “Presently we are only doing sight-seeing from the top. Later, we will be doing inter-city connectivity from Panaji to Old Goa (a popular heritage church complex). Old Goa to airport. Airport to Panaji and then also to connect some of the hotels and casinos that have the facility of helipads.”
This new initiative by Goa Tourism is an effort to expand its offerings for tourists. Known largely for its beaches and night-life, the organization is trying to bring in more variety in the experiences that visitors can enjoy in Goa. The state attracts over 400,000 tourists annually. Half a million of those are foreign tourists.
A large segment of these visitors come to Goa for its casinos. There are currently four offshore casinos and dozens onshore casinos which proves to be a great attraction for both domestic and international tourists because Goa is one of the only three states in India where gambling is legalized.
These helicopter rides will connect the casinos with the city as well as other tourism spots and is expected to result in an increase in the number of VIP customers to Goa’s casinos. These helicopter rides will be packaged as a luxury service that Goa’s casinos offer to its privileged players and VIP customers.
These helicopter rides will not only be used to shuttle VIP gamblers to and fro from Goa’s casinos but will also be clubbed as part of a VIP tourist package that will allow them to see Goa from an aerial point of view. These rides will commence from an existing helipad near Aguada Fort, 20 km from Panaji and operate daily between 10 am to 4 pm.
Lasting for about 15-minutes, the ride will include aerial views of all important sights such as Fort Aguada, Panaji, beaches in the vicinity like Calangute, Miramar, Anjuna and Candolim using six-seater choppers. The current fare per passenger has been set at Rs. 3,250 and the authorities have confirmed that they will conduct stringent security checks before letting passengers on board.