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Goa eyes turnaround, expects a flood of tourists this summer

Wednesday, Apr 20, 2016,14:38 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Panaji | After a not-so-impressive foreign tourist season, Goa’s tourism industry is now looking forward to the upcoming summer vacation as it expects a reversal of fortunes with arrival of more domestic travellers. The (foreign) tourist season was not that good. In fact, foreign tourists went back a month in advance.

Now, hopes are on domestic arrivals which usually soar during these school vacations, Domnick Pereira, who runs guest-houses in Baga and Calangute, said. Unlike foreigners, domestic tourists don’t opt for a long stay at this beach destination, but they contribute reasonably to the state tourism industry, which of late has fallen on hard days, Pereira added.

The Goa tourism department believes that this time there is more in store for domestic tourists as far as activities are concerned, both on and off the coast, providing a dream vacation for the travellers.

This summer, Goa is one of the most desirable holiday destinations as activities on and off the coastline are an added attraction to vacation packages for domestic and foreign tourists, Director of Tourism Sanjeev Gauns Dessai said.

According to Gaurish Dhond, former president, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, occupancy in hotels is down till now, but more tourists are expected to come to the state this summer vacation. Dhond, however, remains a bit circumspect due to the damage to the state’s reputation caused by the recent taxi strike.

The foreign tourist season in Goa had been curtailed by a month as foreign visitors almost ‘deserted’ the beaches and flew out, which had forced the industry to wind up its activities.

Goa has positioned itself as one of the beach hotpsots in the world, with Colva, Candolim, Baga, Morjim, Calangute and Palolem, among others, carving a niche for themselves.