Goa witnesses 17 pc rise in foreign tourists in 2010

Panaji, Feb 21 (PTI) The number of foreign touristsvisiting Goa increased by 17 percent, while the domesticarrivals saw a rise of 3.5 percent in 2010 when compared to ayear ago, the state Tourism department said today.

The annual figures released by the department revealedthat 4.4 lakh foreign tourists and 22 lakh domestic touristsvisited the state marking a healthy 15 percent overallincrease over the previous year.

Officials said December recorded the highest number oftourist arrivals, including 1.1 lakh from overseas and 3.9lakh domestic.

December sees a large number of foreign and domestictourists flocking to Goa to celebrate Christmas and usher inthe New Year.

"Each year we have either been on par or are doing betterthan the previous years. In 2010, Goa did extremely well,better than previous years," State Tourism director SwapnilNaik said.

He said that Goa is expecting close to 750 charterflights from different parts of Europe during the presenttourist season. "There has also been an increase in thearrival of domestic tourists. We are extremely optimisticabout 2011 as well," he added.

Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) spokespersonRalph de Souza said, "Goa is the only holiday destination inIndia which enjoys the highest number of repeat tourists,especially from United Kingdom and parts of western Europe."

"Foreign tourists arriving in Goa stay for an averageperiod of two weeks, including short and long term stays, notless. The figures speak for themselves," he said.

Over the last year, Goa has embarked on a targetedcampaign, proactively pitching Goa as a holiday destination tothe European countries, Scandinavia, Russia, CIS countries andthe east, including Japan, he added.

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