Goa eyes 40 lakh tourist arrivals in 2014

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New Delhi, Aug 17: Goa Tourism is eyeing the number of tourist arrivals in the state to touch up to 40 lakh in 2014, an increase of 15 per cent from the previous year.

Apart from promoting local festivals such as Carnival, Shigmo and Goa Heritage Festival, the state is also hard selling itself as a wedding destination.

"We are looking the tourist arrivals to reach up to 40 lakh this year, a growth of 15 per cent from 2013. During last year Goa had 31.50 lakh arrivals," Goa Tourism Development Corporation Managing Director Nikhil Desai told PTI.

This will be achieved by initiatives undertaken and planned by the Goa Tourism and also due to the decennial exposition of the holy relics of St Francis Xavier from November 22, 2014 to January 4, 2015, he added.

"Goa Tourism is focusing on initiatives to highlight Goa as a destination for festival tourism, weddings, leisure, MICE, adventure and for charters," Desai said.

With an aim to promote Goa as a year round destination he said efforts are being made to further popularise the state's local festivals in the rest of the country.

"Goa also has a number of festivals such as Carnival, Shigmo, Goa Heritage Festival, Sao Joao, Flag Festival and wine festival 'Grape Escapade' among others which are popular with tourists," Desai said.

For weddings, Goa Tourism has launched Destination One, an integrated hospitality establishment concept to provide exclusive and personalised services for wedding segment, he added.

"We are also planning to build a marina, theme park and convention centre to improve infrastructure. All this will be done in a joint venture with private sector," Desai said.

Tourism provides 18 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) of Goa, he added.


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