Marking the beginning of the tourism season 2016-2017, the first charter flight with 500 Russian tourists will land at Dabolim Airport in Vasco-Goa, on October 2. This is likely a signal of the commencement of a reasonably good tourist season. It is also for the first time in more than 10 years that a chartered flight with tourists will come as early as the first week of October. The rest of the month will see a steady flow of charters from different locations in Europe and Russia. Read the full report here.
The tourism department will welcome the tourists on arrival at the Dabolim airport. Industry stakeholders are upbeat about the forthcoming season, and 15-20% growth is expected in charter arrivals even as the last two seasons saw a marginal decline in Russian charters following the collapse of the Russian Ruble.
A total of 749 charters has landed in Goa till April, bringing a total of 1, 54,061 tourists, including 1, 02,182 Russians, 34,500 Britons, 9,832 Ukrainians, 3,544 Kazakhs, 2,145 Finns and 1,869 Iranians. According to Airport Authority of India, various chartered flights have booked 900 slots at the Dabolim airport till March 31 next year.
According to the sources, the Airport Director B C H Negi said, “Till March 31, 2017, a total of 900 chartered flights are booked at our airport. The number will cross 1,000 marks for the current season as the charters continue to arrive until June,”
Though charter numbers dropped, foreign arrivals received a slight boost after the introduction of e-visa and group visa at Goa international airport a year-and-a-half ago. Many foreign tourists, especially those from the United Kingdom, Russia and Kazakhstan are already here. The average stay of a foreign tourist is Goa is nine days.
The first flight to bring in tourists into Goa was initially to be a FlyDubai flight bringing in tourists from Russia via Dubai. However, that flight got canceled.