Goa recorded a 13.25 percent increase in foreign tourists arriving by chartered flights during the recently concluded tourist season, a tourism ministry statement said Tuesday. As many as 1,128 charter flights carrying 2.61 lakh foreign passengers landed in Goa during the peak season from October 2013 to May this year. This was against 996 charter flights from October 2012 to May 2013 which brought in 2.15 lakh tourists.
According to state Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, the forthcoming season will give a fillip to the tourism numbers due to the Decennial Exposition of the Holy Relics of Spanish St. Francis Xavier. The remains of the saint, also regarded as the patron saint of Goa are kept in a heritage church complex, which are displayed in a transparent, closed casket every 10 years. “I am very optimistic regarding the arrival of tourists in the forthcoming season,” Parulekar said.
Goa is one of the top tourism destinations in the country and attracts over three million tourists annually, of which half a million are foreigners.