Domestic tourists are stepping up to Goa but its recognition with foreign tourists does not seem to be increasing. The number of foreign tourists from the European Union (EU) to Goa is coming downward, says Ralph D’Souza, spokesman of travel and tourism association of Goa, addition that European travellers prefer to take comparatively shorter trips, citing recession at home. Says D’Souza, “For Goa, we expect almost 11% growth in domestic tourism this Christmas and New Year compared with last year same period.”
Dubai is the most favourite international destination, followed by Singapore & Thailand, according to the trip planning companies. by the way, India has registered a 140% increase in the explorable holiday destinations in the past 2 years even with rising air fares, travel companies say. Apart from popular domestic destinations, new and less-explored destinations are rising as favourite tourist spots this Christmas like Pachmarhi (Madhya Pradesh), Mandarmani (West Bengal), Matheran (Maharashtra)
, founder and chief executive officer at Travel Man India Pvt.Ltd., that runs holiday planning website http://TravelComfort.in., says 580-unusual holiday destinations in India were being explored in 2012 and this has increased to over 1,600 now.
“With air fares for domestic flights becoming more expensive, we see travelers preferring to also travel to destinations close to where they inhabit or increase their budgets and go for an international tour. Thailand and Singapore maintain to be the most popular and Bali and Sri Lanka have also made to the list. Destinations in Africa, South America & Europe are also attracting Indian travellers,”
The option of destination depends on the new products that are presented, says Karan Anand, head of relationships at travel agent Cox and Kings Ltd, & these destinations are not long haul. They are either short or average duration, Anand says.
Online travel agent Makemytrip.com says the hotel tariff in popular destinations such as Goa, Jaisalmer and Udaipur will increase by 15-20% during the New Year’s Eve. Between Christmas & New Year, inventory demands will lead the tariff to increase by 15% for every 15 days before peaking around Christmas, the compact cautions.
“Over the last couple of years, we have observed that people want to kick-start the New Year in style. There has been an increase of 30-35% in this segment where people travel out of the city to have a good time and Goa has always been amongst the top destination for celebration lovers,” says Vikram Malhi, general manager (South and Southeast Asia) at online travel firm Expedia Plc.
Citing a hospitality consultancy firm HVS study, he says Goa ranks 3rd in the list of peak Indian destinations for overseas tourists, after Delhi and Mumbai. “So, it’s not just Indians, but the entire world wants to cherish the loveliness and festivity of the place.”
“We are seeing a lot of search for Istanbul and the Antalya region of Turkey as the India holiday maker looks west for something new. Turkey is the cheaper European destination that they likes,” says Sanjay Bhasin, CEO, Goibibo.com.
The number of domestic tourist visits to Indian states and Union Territories registered an increase of 20.87% during 2012 over 2011, compared with an increase of 16.6% in 2011 over 2010, latest data of ministry of tourism explain. According to the latest statistics on tourism in India released by the ministry, in 2012, the number of domestic travellers visits to various states and Union Territories was some 1 billion, up from 875 million in 2011 and 758 million in 2010. The number of foreign travellers visits registered a growth of 7.33% during 2012 over 2011 compared with a growth of 9.9% in 2011 over 2010. The number of foreign travellers visits was 21.7 million in 2012, up from 20.5 million in 2011 and 18.9 million in 2010.
Travel Man India Pvt.Ltd.
Travel Man India Pvt.Ltd.