Panaji, Mar 14: The foreign tourist arrivals in Goa crossed the historical five lakh mark during 2014 while the growth continued in the subsequent year, state Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar informed the Assembly today.
In a written reply tabled on the floor of the House, Parulekar said 5.1 lakh foreign tourists arrived in the year 2014 and their numbers grew to 5.4 lakh during 2015.
He was responding to a question tabled by BJP legislator Glenn Ticlo. As per the data, Goa has recorded an overall 30.54 per cent increase in tourist arrivals in 2015, while domestic tourist arrivals were up by 34 per cent and foreign tourists by 5.4 per cent.
A total of 52,97,902 tourists visited Goa in 2015, including 47,56,422 domestic and 5,41,480 foreign tourists, the data said.
Tourist arrivals during monsoon (June, July and August, 2015) recorded a 22 per cent increase as against 18 per cent in 2014. Foreign tourist arrivals from UK, Russia, UAE, the USA, Portugal, South Africa and many others showed a rise in 2014 and 2015 despite continued recession and economic crisis that hit the European regions.
The electronic visa regime introduced by the central government in December, 2014 also facilitated easy access of foreign tourists to the state, the minister said.
Within a year (till December 31, 2015), a total of 49,626 eTVs were issued to foreign tourists, he added.