PANAJI: Though tourism stakeholders have called the current season an unusually poor one in terms of tourist arrivals, the economic survey for 2018-19 said there has been an 4.69% increase in the total arrivals compared to last year. The conclusion for this season has been drawn using figures up to October 2018, till which time 54.8 lakh tourists had visited Goa.
Russians continued to top the list of foreign tourists to Goa in 2018, with British tourists ranking second. A total of 3.11 lakh Russians arrived in Goa from January to October 2018, Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said. Over 1.48 lakh tourists from the UK also landed in Goa during the same period.
The survey calls the growth of total tourist arrivals in the state ‘huge’ with the numbers nearly tripling over the last decade. The number of charter flights and passengers coming into the state, however, did not grow at the same rate. It saw its peak in 2013-14 and has declined ever since.
“In 2013-14, the highest number of charted flights landed (1,128) in the state with highest number of passengers compared to any other year (2,61,452). During the year 2018-19, up to December 2018, 290 chartered flights with 83,294 passengers,” reads the survey. The figure for 2018-19 is with a more weeks to go for the charter tourist season. In comparison, in 2017-18, 981 flights arrived throughout the year with 2,47,365 passengers.
Tourism trade activities continued to grow as well, with as many as 1,363 new hotels registered from April to December 2018. Another 6,033 new tourist taxis registered, 343 new government shacks and six private ones, 1,002 water sports operators, and 139 new travel/tour agencies registered.