Big Goa presence

DUBAI - Goa is participating in the ATM-2003 for the eight successive year with its 30-square-metre-pavilion at the four-day show being shared by 10 top hoteliers and three tour operators along with the tourism promotion body.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Wed 7 May 2003, 12:48 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 9:11 PM

A 14-member delegation headed by Micky Pacheco, Goa's Minister of Tourism, is attending the ATM-2003.

Members of the delegation include N Suryanarayana, Director of Goa Tourism, Sadanand Shet, Chairman of Goa Tourism, and Pramod Shetye, Managing Director of Goa Tourism Development Corporation.

Talking to 'Khaleej Times', Mr. Suryanarayana said Goa, which has a population of 1.3 million, has attracted 1.6 million tourists, including 300,000 foreign tourists, nearly three-fourths of them from the UK, Germany and Scandinavian countries. There has been a 10 per cent increase in the number of visitors from the Middle Eastern countries last year compared with the previous year that attracted 12,000 tourists, mostly NRIs and Gulf Arabs.

He expressed confidence over direct flights to Goa from Dubai becoming a reality by September on the basis of continuing talks with the Emirates and Air India. Emirates, he said, has shown interest in four flights a week to Goa, but a final decision has to be taken by the Indian Civil Aviation Minister who incidentally hails from Goa. Indian Airlines currently operates two weekly flights to Goa from Sharjah.

He said: " We are promoting Goa through a set of packages to attract people from different segments of the society and industry. We are confident of increasing the number of tourists to Goa with our new promotion campaign whose tagline - Go Goa - 365 days on a holiday - conveys the destination's attractiveness round the year. The rainy months of June, July and August will be of great attraction to the people in this part of the world."

He said the number of chartered flights to Goa has increased to 400 last year and brought in a total of 110,000 tourists for a duration of 14 days. The bureaucrat said: " There has been a big increase in chartered flights from Iran and Russia. We hope the number of chartered flights from Russia will increase by 100 this year from the present 50. There has been a big increase in overseas tourists to Goa after the SARS crisis."

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