Industry expects more charter arrivals this yr

Hopes for increase in tourists in the coming season.

Industry stakeholders are expecting an increase in the number of Russian and British arrivals to the state for the coming tourist season. While a slight increase is expected in the numbers of the former, the latter are supposed to go up by 15-20%.

The new season will also likely see charters landing in Goa from lesser known European destinations like Czech Republic and Estonia.

Tour operators and agents are upbeat about the forthcoming season with bookings looking good so far, though a clearer picture will emerge only by September end. The first charter of the season is likely to land in Goa from Russia in the second week of October.

President, travel and tourism association of Goa (TTAG) Savio Messias said charter numbers will certainly go up in the new season, with indications of rise in UK arrivals. “That would make for about 20% rise in British tourists if not less,” said Messias, and added that a rise in Russian tourists is also anticipated. Chief operating officer, Sita and Travel Corporation (India) Ltd (TCI) Ernest Dias was of the same opinion.

“Russian arrivals will not be as high as they used to be three-four seasons ago, but definitely, Russian numbers will go up in the coming season,” said Messias maintaining that after two years of economic crises, the people of Russia are reconciled to their changed circumstances.

While the number of Russian tourists had decreased significantly these last two seasons consequent to weakening of the Russian currency, there was a marginal rise in British tourists arrivals in 2015-16.

UK charter tourists started declining after 2010, as arrivals from Russian destinations picked up steadily.