Curtorim Congress MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco on Monday hit out at the Manohar Parrikar-led BJP government in Goa on the predicted fall in foreign tourists and foreign charter flights to Goa this season (2018-19).
“The travel associations are expecting a 35-40 per cent overall fall in foreign tourist charter flights to Goa this year. This could be due to various reasons, but the main reason is because the Goa government is in ICU. For the last six months, there has been no governance. No new initiatives, no co-ordinated and targeted promotion,” Lourenco told IndiaScoops.com.
At a time when Goa’s tourism industry is keeping its fingers crossed, hoping for a good season amidst fierce competition from other affordable destinations, a significant drop in charter flights in the very first month has led to some anxious discussions on whether foreign arrivals will cross last season’s mark, reports the Herald.
November could see a 30 percent fall in charter landings, even as slot allotment for many charter airlines have not yet been finalized, the Herald report states.
According to the Herald, the schedule for October has confirmed 29 charter flights, about half the number of charters last year – all bringing only Russian tourists, however, there is no sign of flights from any other countries, not even UK which otherwise brings in a substantial number of tourists to the State.
October last year had seen 54 flights landing at Dabolim airport, which was an increase from the 49 recorded in October 2016.
“There is no governance in Goa. The government is in ICU for the last six months. Compared to earlier seasons, October been very disappointing. There is no initiative. The government must give incentives to charter operators to encourage arrivals from foreign countries. Instead even slot allotment for the aircraft has not yet been finalized. The tourism dept of Goa has gone to sleep. There is no co-ordinated international promotion activity in nations like the UK, Germany, USA, etc., which bring in the European tourists. Even Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) had demanded incentives to charter operators to international charters coming to Goa, but the government and the tourism department is lost in slumber and living in a dream world, ” Lourenco said.
According to the Herald report, it is expected that the declining trend will continue in November with an approximate 30 percent drop.
“Some slots are not allotted for the remaining season but we anticipate at least 30 percent drop in charter flights. Nevertheless, we are hoping for a good feedback from the charter airlines in December-January,” a leading charter operator based in Panjim, told the Herald.