Goa tourism stakeholders apprehensive about losing charter tourists to Egypt

 Monday, September 13, 2021 

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With the Center yet to grant a request by Goa’s tourism sector for air bubble arrangements with a handful of nations, tour operators in the state are apprehensive that any further delay in an announcement will take away charter tourism opportunities from them, since Egypt, which is a big attractionfor Russian tourists, is already open for business.

Tour operators are worried that Russian travelers otherwise visitingGoa will choose Egypt this time as there is no indication as to when India will lift restrictions on international commercial flights. Incidentally, Russia remainsone of the chief markets of Egypt.

“It is about a month since Egypt opened up, but there has been no sign so far about when we are going to open. Accompanied by a representative of a major Russian tour operator, we had a meeting with tourism secretary J Ashok Kumar last week and though he assured us that there may be some announcement by mid-September, we are keeping our fingers crossed,” said Ernest Dias, chief operating officer at Sita Travels.

Of the 2.5 lakh charter tourists that Goa witnesses, 65-70% are from Russian destinations. Expectedly, trades in Goa surviving on charter tourists over the past few years are concerned.

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