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Goa Tourism Expects Surge In Domestic Travellers This Year
Goa's tourism industry looks forward to an increase in domestic travellers after an unimpressive foreign tourist season.  
20 April 2016
Panaji: After a not-so-impressive foreign tourist season, Goa's tourism industry is now looking forward to the upcoming summer vacation as it expects a reversal of fortunes with the arrival of more domestic travellers.
"The (foreign) tourist season was not that good. In fact, foreign tourists went back a month in advance. Now, hopes are on domestic arrivals which usually soar during these school vacations," Domnick Pereira, who runs guest-houses in Baga and Calangute said.
Unlike foreigners, domestic tourists don't opt for a long stay at this beach destination, but they contribute reasonably to the state tourism industry, which of late has fallen on hard days, Pereira added.
The Goa tourism department believes that this time there is more in store for domestic tourists as far as activities are concerned, both on and off the coast, providing ‘a dream vacation’ for the travellers.
"This summer, Goa is one of the most desirable holiday destinations as activities on and off the coastline are an added attraction to vacation packages for domestic and foreign tourists," Director of Tourism Sanjeev Gauns Dessai said.
According to Gaurish Dhond, former president, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa, occupancy in hotels is down till now, but more tourists are expected to come to the state this summer vacation.
Dhond, however, remains a bit circumspect due to the damage to the state's reputation caused by the recent taxi strike.
The foreign tourist season in Goa had been curtailed by a month as foreign visitors almost 'deserted' the beaches and flew out, which had forced the industry to wind up its activities.
Goa has positioned itself as one of the beach hotspots in the world, with Colva, Candolim, Baga, Morjim, Calangute and Palolem, among others, carving a niche for themselves.
"While water sports activities are in big demand and offering right options for tourists to beat the simmering heat, Goa Tourism's hot air balloon rides and helicopter joyrides also provide good and cool alternatives," Dessai claimed.
The tourism department has also introduced trekking to the hinterland.
"Trekking to the hinterland and experiencing some camping activities in villages set against the breath-taking landscape of the state are also making the state a hotspot this summer," Dessai added.
Private investors are also rushing in to be part of the party.
The recently-launched Snow Park at Anjuna by a private venture is witnessing increase in footfalls, thanks to the school vacation.
"The response has been on the rise. Our visitors mostly include children who want to make the most of their vacation," said Harikesh Singh, Manager, Snow Park, Anjuna Beach Village. Promoted by Jupiter Enterprises, this is its second Snow Park in the country, the first being at Surat in Gujarat.