Tuesday 23 April 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Economy | Tourism

Why Govt cheers over foreign tourists while Indians cheer Goan market?


While Goa’s tourist inflow of Indian tourists is increasing in leaps and bounds every year, Goa government is delighted that the negligible rise of foreign tourists is not declining.

With a record tourist inflow of 53 lakh till December 2015, Goa now gets 90% Indian tourists and only 10% foreigners.

The overall annual rise of Indian tourists last year is over 30% while it is hardly 5.4% rise among the foreigners visiting Goa.

In spite of this, an official press statement quotes Goa’s tourism minister Dilip Parulekar as follows:

“We are extremely delighted that various negative geo-political situations across the globe have not hit Goa Tourism in any way. We have received a good response from foreign and domestic tourists in 2015 as in the past. Our new initiatives, marketing and promoting is showing substantial results and we are optimistic that tourists will choose Goa as their destination for holidaying.”

Contrary to this, the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa has urged the state government to curb its expenditure on foreign junkets, terming it to be “wasteful expenditure with no tangible benefits or increase in foreign tourist arrivals.”

Goa’s tourism industry leaders are also disgusted that these foreign junkets (of ministers, MLAs and officials) are resulting into increased budgetary expenditure and additional taxation on hospitality industry.

With the collapse of Russian market and disturbed European economies, the margins are squeezed and the future if bleak, states TTAG president Francisco Braganca.

Goa’s tourism department however states that there are reasons to cheer as foreign tourist arrivals from UK, Russia, UAE, USA, Portugal, South Africa and many others have shown an increase in arrivals despite continued recession and crises that hit the European regions.

And what is this substantial increase of foreign tourists?

In figures, this 34% rise in foreign tourists is hardly 21,270 more (Compared to 4.92 lakh in 2014, last year recorded 5.14 lakh).

And what is the  rise in Indian torists?

The rise in domestic tourists to Goa is 75%, which in figures is 12.12 lakh (35.45 lakh in 2014 while 47.56 lakh last year).   

The official figures on the Goa tourism department website indicate that this has been the trend since the new millennium started 15 years ago.

By 2005, the number of Indian tourists doubled, from 9.77 lakh to 19.64 lakh, the rise of 101%.

And in last five years, it has more than doubled with 116% rise – from 22 lakh to 48 lakh.

The number of foreign tourists is also rising, but at a minimal growth rate of 15% in the first five years from 2000 and 23% in the last five years.

In actual figures, year 2000 reported 2.92 lakh foreigners while it has now increased to 5.41 lakh, a rise of hardly 2.50 lakh more foreign tourists in the 21st century.

To add to this agony, the charter tourism has dipped to lowest in last 12 years – 463 flights compared to 895 charters the previous year.

No, not NGOs who are dubbed as negatives, Goa’s own tourism industry has now started shouting against the wasteful expenditure on road shows abroad, on which our ruling politicians spend hundreds of crores every year…

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Total Comments :1

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Govt numbers n the way of handling the entire tourism gamut has seen hardly any innovative n qualitative change. We cheer at the forex earnings from inflow of foreign tourists. But they are mostly low spenders. As regards domestic tourists they come for wrong reasons. Goa could hv managed with lesser nos but with high spenders. It is time someone makes a cost benefit study of this industry. By cost I do not mean monetary but socio-cultural ethical view.

Madhav Bastodker , Ponda