According to the sources, a recent air crash in Egypt which was carrying 220 Russian tourists (all died in a plane crash) has served the negative impact on Egyptian tourism market which led to the cancellation of further flights from Europe and Russia to Egypt and that gives the second chance to Goa to serve the tourists from Russia and Europe. The charter business was declining, according to the report published by Goa Prism on 8th November, The charter flights to Goa will be hitting the five years low which is around 632 flights this year due to fall in Russian charters.
After the news of Egyptian crisis, the tours operators are positive that more flights will come to Goa from Russia and Europe. The Egyptian market had become very lucrative due to the new policies implemented by the government which includes the cancellation of visa cost by the Egyptian government to encourage more visitors and proposed currency deal between Egypt and Russia. Due to these policies, Egypt was expecting as much as 1.7 million visitors in 2015. The sources also revealed that since the president Sisi took power, the relation between Russia and Egypt has grown better. Egypt also welcomed Russia’s latest intervention in Syria to support even as its Gulf allies, who have kept the Egyptian economy afloat with aid, vehemently opposed the Russian intervention.
The tourist flow from Russia and Europe is the top source of inbound visitors for Egypt as well as Goa. These two countries are the biggest market for Goa which amounts to 60% of foreign tourist arrivals to Goa. The sources in Caper travel have revealed that the Russian charter operator Royal Airlines will be operating extra flights from Moscow to Goa from 19th November, “We expect additional flights in the month of December too as the Russians are looking for the alternate destinations. We are also in discussion with the other tour operators from Russia,” said Bharat Atree, M.D. of Caper Travels.
According to Subhash Goyal, the CMD of Stic Travels, although the adversity in Egypt is providing the opportunity to Goa, but the stakeholders should be in position to take the advantage of the situation by planning the marketing strategy as the Russian tourists have the option of choosing the other lower priced destinations such as Thailand or Sri Lanka. “We can expect a revival in demand for Goa,” added Betty Remedios, sales and marketing head of Grand Hyatt, Goa.
Based on the calculations for this year’s inflow of Russian and European tourists around 632 flights are expected from Russia, Britain and Finland which is 28% drop compared to last year’s 889 flights. This is the lowest in last five years since the Russia has become the major source of market for Goa in last five years. It was estimated by TTAG President Francisco Braganza that there will be 25% decline in foreign tourists to Goa this year but with the news of the plane crash in Egypt the picture looks to be more promising for Goa.
Based on the available information from the reliable sources, the Charter operators Monarch Airlines from Britain and Nordwind from Russia have stopped operating the flights to Goa this year and Transaero, a scheduled airline from Russia also have shut down their business in October. The Orenair will be operating around 20 to 30 charter flights from Moscow in the month of December which does not include the 632 flights approved earlier by AAI.
With the new developments taking place everybody is positive, tour operators’ feels that there will be growth in the market of foreign tourists, but they do not want to stop their marketing efforts into the domestic market. The present scenario of the domestic market is the best market but sudden increase in charter can be termed as additional cream in the hospitality business.
Source: Various Sources
Edited by Goa Prism News Desk