Decline in foreign tourists puts tourism stakeholders in a spot



Amid concerns over the delayed operations of beach shacks -- one of the main attractions of the tourist season -- the decline in foreign visitors from the start of the season in October has compounded worries for the stakeholders. 

The domestic tourists are compensating, but the extended stays of international visitors are crucial for Goan stakeholders. 

“The challenge is inbound tourism. The ongoing Ukraine-Russia and Israel-Palestine conflicts have adversely affected tourism. People are apprehensive about traveling to other countries... We were also expecting Israeli charters but it has been shelved,” TTAG President Nilesh Shah said, speaking to The Goan. 

Charters from Israel were expected this month with a projected minimum of 250 passengers to Goa, per charter.  

As on date, only around 50 charters, predominantly from Russia, have landed in Goa, while eight are from the UK and three from Kazakhstan. The charters from the latter two countries began in mid-October while Russia was the first to start the season on October 1. So far, around 35 charters from Russia have brought passengers to Goa. 

However, in what can be a boost to the sector, the ongoing tourist season’s first charter flight from Uzbekistan will land on December 7 at the Mopa airport, marking a significant milestone in the collaboration between the two nations showcasing the growing ties in tourism and cultural exchange.

The Goa Tourism delegation had recently participated in the Tashkent International Tourism Fair held in Uzbekistan wherein the inauguration ceremony witnessed the presence of Manish Prabhat, the Ambassador of India to Uzbekistan.

Despite charter limitations, scheduled flights connecting Europe, Arab countries, and other destinations also contribute to foreign tourist influx as Shah emphasized the reliance on both charters and scheduled flights. “We are not dependent on charters alone. Scheduled flights are also getting tourists from across the world,” he further said, quickly adding that the stakeholders are still optimistic about a better season in the coming days. 

“The season has not ended. We are hopeful that the coming days of the peak season will be good.”


 With a surge in domestic visitors, Goa anticipates a wave of weddings, particularly with beach destinations. “Goa is synonymous with such events. As per my knowledge, around 40-50 weddings are slated for the next 15 days, excluding those by local Goan families. The venues range from beaches to resorts and hotels,” TTAG President Shah said, claiming that the wedding season looks promising for Goa. 


Industry stakeholders assert that the mysterious virus affecting China is unlikely to impact Goa. “Chinese tourists are seldom found,” he said. 

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