Russians desert Goa beaches


Goa’s travel and tourism industry has been hit hard due to the collapse of the Russian market and disturbed European economies, industry stakeholders have said, asking the government to cut down on promotional foreign junkets.

Goans 2In a pre-budget memorandum submitted to Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar, the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) also asked for quick completion of the tourism masterplan to check unplanned expenditure on tourism infrastructure.

“The tourism industry is struggling to keep its head above the water, with rising costs and reducing revenues, on account of the collapse of the Russian market and disturbed European economies. This situation is expected to continue for the ensuing season as well. The margins are squeezed and the future looks bleak,” TTAG president Francisco Braganca said.

Requesting for rationalised spending on marketing of Goa as a tourism destination, Braganca expressed displeasure over the foreign junkets undertaken by tourism ministry representatives.

“There is no need to raise the budgetary expenditure on tourism marketing at the cost of additional taxation on the hospitality industry. It has been a wasteful expenditure with no tangible benefits or increase in foreign tourist arrivals. There is a need to rationalise the marketing expenditure and see that it is result oriented,” the memorandum said.

“There is a need to divert the marketing expenditure from road shows and marketing to markets which are not Goa-centric into incentives per passenger to foreign tour operators who actually bring foreign tourists like it is being done by competing tourist destinations and is measurable in terms of specific numbers,” it said.

Goa is one of the leading beach tourism destinations in India and attracts nearly four million tourists every year.