BEACH haven Goa has registered the highest-ever number of charter flights over its latest tourism season with 1,128 flights bearing 261,000 passengers touching down from October 2013 to May 2014.
This represents a 13.5 per cent increase over the previous season’s 996 flights and 215,000 passengers.
Said Dilip Parulekar, Goa’s tourism minister: “I am delighted with this achievement which is the result of focused marketing and promotional activities undertaken by the tourism department by actively involving travel trade professionals and charter operators.”
Charters are popular among high-end tourist groups mostly from Russia (TTG Asia e-Daily, April 3, 2014) and other Commonwealth of Independent States countries, and are arranged by tour operators including Cox & Kings and Le Passage to India.
“Charter tourism has picked up in Goa in a big way. The depreciating rupee helped to fuel the growth of this segment. I see charter flights to Goa growing further once the Indian government implements its plans to liberalise the present visa regime. Demand from European markets will see an increase,” predicted Rajji Raj, chairman of Swiftravel International.