The tourism industry of Goa has been facing a steep decline in revenue due to the cut down on the foreign charter flights to India. The trend is continuing for past few years and tourism industry of Goa keeps sinking deep inside. But now it looks like the times are changing and there are better days ahead for the tourism industry of Goa. According to the sources, there are indications of growing inbound Russian tourists with the increase in Russian Charter flights to Goa.

Based the information available from the reliable sources, the end of December 2016 witnessed a reasonable rise in the inbound Russian tourists compared the last year. There was an upward trend in the inbound Charter Flights from Russia towards the festive season of December 2016 compared to December 2015, said the sources. Though the demonetization had been already coming into effect from November month itself but that did not seem to have affected the inbound Russian charter flights to India.

The reports further stated that the figure was showing an upward trend by the end of 2016 but it did not achieve the milestones that were set in 2014. Overall it gave the ray of a hope to the sinking tourism industry of the state. In fact, there is an overall trend of the downward economy across the globe and the meltdown does not stop as yet but in such scenario a small ray of hope is sufficient.        

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According to the sources, The highest number of charter arrivals to this tiny state reached in the room of 1,128 flights carrying 2,61,452 tourists which were recorded in 2013-14 and following to which the figures saw a steep decline in inbound tourists from Russia. Yet, tourism stakeholders had hinted at improved numbers in the current season.     

The sources have further stated that there were around 30 chartered flights with 8,788 passengers from the United Kingdom landed in the state of Goa in December 2016 as compared to 25 flights in December 2015. “The figures are certainly higher than they were in December 2015,” said Mr. Ernest Dias, chief operating officer, Sita, adding that they are expecting a further jump in numbers is expected in the month of March.

The Chief Operating Officer of Trail Blazers Tours (I) Put. Ltd, Mr. Aloo Gomes Pereira told the media that there was quite a good business in the month of December 2016 which subsequently dropped in February. Mr. Gomes has been handling the charter business for quite some time now.  “I don’t know why the numbers declined this month. It could be due to Brexit or anything else,” said Pereira who is optimistic that there will be more arrivals next month.

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Looking at the existing tourism trend in Goa, the charter flights keeps coming down from Russian until the end of May while this is not applicable for the UK and other European countries which normally dries up by March. In May 2016, 17 chartered flights had arrived from Russia as compared to just one from the UK. The sources said that the tourism in Goa was seriously hit by the meltdown in the Russian economy two years ago but now the things are improving slowly. the current season’s increase in charter arrivals during the peak month of December worked at a ray of hope, even though the tourists had to bear the brunt of demonization, said the sources.

Everybody from the beach shacks to the five-star hotels is completely dependent on the inbound foreign tourists compared to the local Indian crowd. and the drop in the charter flights usually hit their business badly. The demonetization is another monster which resulted in the drop in tourism business this year, said the sources. A shack operator at Arambol said though the currency issue has now been resolved, they have suffered a lot this season. “First, there was a delay of two months in issuing licenses. Then it was demonetization,” he said adding, “I know of some foreign tourists who headed to Sri Lanka because of notebandi.” “During the cash crunch, tourists opted to pay via cards but we lost business as we did not have a swipe machine. A month ago, we applied for one but are yet to get it,” he added.

NEWS SOURCE | IMAGE SOURCE

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