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August 03, 2015

Goa Looks to Increase Tourists From Iran

03 August 2015

Panaji: Goa tourism department after popularizing monsoon tourism among Indian tourists is now turning its attention at international markets to expose them to monsoon delights. It is trying to attract Iranian tourists with various facets of monsoon tourism of Goa. It recently, hosted a familiarization (fam) trip for 18 travel and tour operators from Iran in association with Air Arabia, an exercise to market value-based monsoon tourism in the Middle East.

Slowly, tourists are trickling into Goa from Iran, and Goa tourism expects the number to go up significantly, in the next few years.

In 2014, as many as 3,990 tourists from Iran visited Goa. For during the charter season 2014-15, as many as 42 charter flights landed in Goa from Iran bringing in 3,594 tourists. Many tourists landed in Goa as free independent travelers (FITs).

Tourism minister Dilip Parulekar said, "Iran is an important tourism market for Goa tourism and we are focusing our marketing strategies for attracting foreign tourists from this region. Goa is a perfect holiday destination for visitors from Iran and there is a surge in footfalls from Iran during the last two years."

This is the third 'fam' trip organized in recent times by Goa tourism for travel and tour operators from the oil rich provinces in the Gulf. Two separate familiarization trips from the Gulf regions were hosted in May and June 2015. The travel and tour operators from Iran arrived in Goa on July 25 on a 5-day 'fam' trip and were given insights into various tourism facets that Goa has to offer.

During this trip, the guests from Iran experienced the thrills of whitewater rafting in the river waters at Mhadei in Sattari. They also visited Atreya Vedic Farm at Mollem, important mosques, temples, churches, beaches and hotel properties, besides relishing Goan cuisine along with Goan folklore and culture.

They met officials of Goa tourism and tourism stakeholders where they engaged in B2B dialogues and exchanged views on promotion of tourism and travel.

Goa tourism development corporation (GTDC) chairman Nilesh Cabral said, "Goa has also carved a niche for itself as a destination for yoga, ayurveda and wellness tourism which are some of the newer tourism options that tourists from the Middle East seek while planning holidays in India. It is our endeavor to enhance footfalls from the Middle East and give them an experience of our new offerings in addition to adventure and all other tourism avenues."