High tariff & visa issues affect Goa's tourist inflow

PTI, PANAJI | 09 October 2013 20:10 IST

The Goa tourism ministry has conceded that issues related to visa contribute to poor growth in foreign tourists' arrival in the coastal state.

State tourism minister Dilip Parulekar told the state Legislative Assembly today that the arrival of international tourists in Goa has grown from 4.4 lakh tourists in 2011 to 4.5 lakh tourists in 2012. 

The cumbersome visa procedures, non availability of visa on arrival facility at Goa airport, relatively high hotel tariffs, economic recession in Europe, can be the reasons for not so encouraging foreign tourists' arrival in the state, he said. 

Parulekar was responding to a question by Congress legislator Mauvin Godinho who had asked whether it is a fact that Goa ranks behind 10 other states on tourism map in terms of foreign arrivals. 

The minister said that the issue of tourist visas in some east European countries and other key source markets for Goa is lengthy as compared to destinations like Thailand and Sri Lanka. 

He also said that some of the main reasons for decline in tourists arrivals are lack of adequate direct international flights, limited ground handling capacity of existing Dabolim airport and non-availability of visa on arrival facility at Goa airport. 

The state government has undertaken aggressive measures to market the state within India and abroad and the results are already evident, Parulekar told the House. 

"As per available information, in the year 2012, Goa received highest number of charter flights, highest number of foreign tourists and highest number of cruise ships at Marmugao (port)," he added.

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