This year tourism season in Goa will be hitting five years low, the figures have been revealed by the sources in the tourism industry. According to them, Goa is expecting 630 charter flights which are lowest in the last five years (Please refer to the chart at the bottom of this article) this sudden fall is due to the drop in a number of Russian holiday makers. The charter season in Goa runs through October to March and based on the data provided by the Airport Authority of Goa, they have given the approval to around 630 charter flights from Russia, Britain and Finland for this year.
The Russian tourists have been declining since 2013 due to the fall in the value of rouble which started slipping since 2012, which led to the cancellation of flights to Goa. “Russia had become one of the biggest markets for Goa since 2010 and it attained the highest peak in 2013 with around 1200 charter flights, but suddenly it started declining towards the 2014 and this year it went back to five years low,” said the sources. Francis Braganza, the president of TTAG (Travel and Tourism Association of Goa) also has a similar opinion, according to him there is 20 to 25 percent decline in foreign tourist arrival is there due to the slowdown in the Russian market.
One of the major charter operators, Monarch Airlines (British) is not operating any flights to Goa this year and another charter company from Russia ‘Transaero’ had shut down in October due to the market crash. Goa is expecting few additional flights in the month of December through ‘Orenair’ Charter Company from Moscow, but it will be still 28% low from the last year’s count of 889 charter flights.
According to the sources, Russian and Britain are the top source of markets for Goa which contributes to around 60% of business in Goa. In 2014, Russian tourists accounted for 29% of all foreign tourist arrivals in Goa down from 33% in two preceding years. Last year depreciation in Rouble and closure of two tour operators Labirint and Neva had impacted the arrivals.
The sources, however, feels that growth in the domestic market will reduce the impact of the decline in foreign tourists, “The domestic leisure market is showing strong growth. Also, Goa is a favorite for weddings and meeting incentive tours. Braganca is also of the opinion that British market continues to look promising.
Whatever may be the calculations, but dependency on the international market with the recession catching up is not advisable, instead the local tourism bodies need to look for the new avenues to promote the tourism in the domestic markets. One more thing that state government needs to look into at the moment and that is the paralyzed infrastructure in Goa which needs the rehabilitation. The other major issue such as the transportation, taxi services which has created the bad name in Goa needs to be improved. Overall the future of the tourism business looks to be dependent upon the domestic market.
DETAILS OF THE CHARTER FLIGHTS TO GOA
2009 – 2010 627 FLIGHTS
2010 – 2011 856 FLIGHTS
2011 – 2012 812 FLIGHTS
2012 – 2013 1044 FLIGHTS
2013 – 2014 1141 FLIGHTS
2014 – 2015 889 FLIGHTS
2015 – 2016 632 FLIGHTS
Note: 2015-16 figures include approval for flights. The season runs from October-May and actual figures may vary. Source: Airport Authority of India.
Source: various sources
Edited by Goa Prism News Desk