Published on : Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), the apex body representing the hotel and travel trade in Goa, termed the state tourism department’s statistics on tourist footfalls as ‘inaccurate’. It has rejected the claims of the tourism department that there is an increase in tourist arrivals by 2.95 per cent in 2018 compared to the footfalls in 2017.
As per tourism department figures, in 2018, a total of 80,15,400 tourists arrived in the state as against 77,85,693 in 2017 which includes both domestic and foreign tourists.
Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar said that the tourist footfalls in Goa this season (2019-2020) is quite similar to that of the last season.
TTAG president Savio Messias said that Goa doesn’t have a system in place to check the number of tourists visiting the state.
“There are three international direct flights coming in – Air Arabia, Oman, and Qatar, on these flights you cannot count everyone as tourists. There are a lot of Indians specifically Goans who return to the state. We don’t have a system in place to know how many of travelers on international flights are tourists and how many are non-tourists. If you come by international flights they may consider you as a foreigner. All foreigners coming to Goa are not tourists, they may be coming to Goa on a business trip,” Messias said.
The TTAG president said further, “If seven flights a week are canceled and not substituted with other flights then how can there be an increase, the figures of the department are disputable.”
“The department should undertake a survey for at least two months. One month during the peak season and one month during the off season. During the period, we should have volunteers at all the state borders and at railway stations, Airport and Port to collect data to find out how many come as tourists and how many for other purposes,” Messias suggested.