Russian airlines to increase frequency to Goa during high season

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Moscow, Oct 30 (UNI) Russian airlines offering flights to Goa will have to increase their frequency dramatically this year to handle ever growing tourist traffic in the former Portuguese colony.

KrasAir's Boeing 757 will take Russian holidaymakers to Goa once every ten days and TransAero will schedule three Boeing 747 flights per week.

As many as 1,500 Russian visitors are expected to fly to Goa's resorts every week compared to 900 visitors the previous year.

The number of Russian tourists visiting 'Pearl of the Orient' between November and March has now reached 30,000, and is expected to touch the 50,000 mark in 2007-2008.

Popularity of the Indian caostal resorts has been soaring in recent years.

The number of tourists from Europe is increasing with every passing year, putting further strain on Goa's already overstretched infrastructure.

Holidaymakers are interested in beaches, while a few of them want to have a taste of culture, dances and heritage of the country, Chief executive of the Indian Cosmo Travels Ltd, Raj Kumar Goyal, said.

During the 1990s, trips to Goa were catered by just a handful of small agencies but the demand has been mounting steadily since 1999, when the chartered flights were first launched to the Indian coast, Ria novosti news agency quoted Russian Deo Travel group director Tatyana Melnichenko as saying.

Many larger companies traditionally specialising in the Mediterranean have now also set their sight on the Indian subcontinent. Extensive budgets enable such agencies to arrange trips at lower prices, thereby attracting more customers than their smaller competitors do.

However, the steep demand for Goa has resulted in the shortage of accommodation.

There are simply not enough hotels to cope with the current inflow of Russian tourists, and getting new projects up and running can take quite a while, Ms Melnichenko says.

Most of the hotels now appearing in Goa's resorts have only 10 to 20 rooms, meaning that their impact on the market situation will be negligible.

UNI

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