HAVING taken a hit from Russia's rouble crisis, Goa is planning an incentive scheme for charter tour operators to attract more international tourists.
Goa has suffered a 40 per cent plunge in Russian flights since November, and on its own accounts for about 95 per cent of charters into India, or 1,217 flights. According to official figures, Goa welcomed 230,811 international tourists in 4Q2014, down from 232,874 during the same period in 2013.
Ameya Abhyankar, director of Goa’s department of tourism, said: “We are looking at creating an incentive package in line with what countries like Sri Lanka and Thailand offer, where you incentivise charter tour operators for every additional flight that they operate, which helps to cover some of the cost of charter tour operators.”
The tourism board expects the scheme to boost traffic from key markets like Russia and the UK, while capturing new markets like the US, Australia and Latin America.
In the meantime, Condor intends to operate a weekly charter service between Frankfurt and Goa from November 2015 to April 2016, while Thomas Cook is bringing two more flights from Manchester and Gatwick in the UK.
Abhyankar remarked: “Flydubai has also shown interest in operating charter flights to Goa.”