Concord Exotic Voyages India Private Limited, is the company who brought the first flight of Russian Tourists to Goa says that state will witness a growth in international tourist arrivals this year; TTAG hopes CM will resolve the issue of allotment of slots for landing. The first chartered flight with 519 Russian tourists on board arrived at Dabolim international Airport on Sunday morning marking the beginning of tourism season 2017-18…
Last year the optimism was evident when leading tour operators of Goa, Sheik Ismail, general manager of Concord Travels & Tours said, “We are bringing the first charter flight of the season to Goa from Moscow on October 2, 2016. It is a big flight with 512 passenger capacity and it will be fully packed.” A total of 2,240 chartered flights landed at the Goa International Airport at Dabolim, registering an impressive growth of 30 percent against 1,645 last year.
As against 895 international charter flights in 2015, Goa’s Dabolim airport witnessed only 463 flights, the lowest since 2003-04. Subsequently, even the number of chartered travelers dropped by 38.75 percent, with only 98,796 foreign tourists, as against 1.61 lakh passengers, ferried by the same in the previous year. The chartered flights were the first flight to landed on 1st Oct, compared to the chartered planes in the past. This one started with a bang, with 519 Russians.
It was the commencement of a good tourist season. Representatives of the Concord Exotic Voyages, which is the chartered tour operator for Air Rossiya along with the officials of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) besides officials from state tourism department, accorded a warm welcome to the Russian tourists on their arrival at the airport.
Speaking to reporters, Sheikh Ismail, a senior official from Concord Exotic Voyages India Private Limited said that during the current tourism season Goa will witness a growth in international tourist arrivals.
He claimed that this will be the first time in last several years that the first chartered flight arrived in Goa on October 1. Last year, the first chartered flight arrived on October 2. He informed that in October, Concord will bring two chartered flights a week to Goa and from November onwards the same will be increased to four flights per week and a similar number of arrivals would continue till May 2018.”
“This chartered aircraft which landed on Sunday has the capacity of 524 passengers and 519 arrived on the first flight. Last year, 492 Russian tourists arrived in Goa in the first chartered flight and the increase in the number of passengers this year in the first flight shows that the response from international tourists is good. Our next chartered flight to Goa will arrive on October 8,” Ismail informed.
Anil Dalal, GTDC Assistant Manager claimed that the department expects an increase in international tourist arrivals and chartered flights this season. Meanwhile, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) president Savio Messias said, “We are happy that the first chartered flight landed today and the tourism season has begun. But we are worried as just 30-odd chartered flights are going to arrive in October, making it just one flight a day, which is not a good sign. Last year, we had around 1000 chartered flights, which was around 150 to 200 flights per month (from October to March). However, this time, the number is less with only 30 flights in October. So we are a little apprehensive this tourism season”.
He said, “Also the issue of allotment of slots for landing is not yet resolved, we are hopeful that Chief Minister would intervene and resolve the same on an urgent basis. Earlier, hotels were booked in advance. However, due to slot issues, many hotels this year have not received advance bookings. Once landing slots are allotted then chartered companies start ticket bookings. Once tickets are booked only then the hotels would be booked in advance, but if slots are not allotted the whole chain breaks. We, therefore, hope that Navy and AAI extend their cooperation and resolve the issue of slots for landing”.
SOURCE: HERALD GOA