Goa loses to Coorg, Thailand as wet blanket shrouds tourists’ footsteps

Jul 27, 2022 | 07:41 IST

Damp Squib: Goa loses to Coorg, Thailand as wet blanket shrouds tourists’ footsteps

Goa Tourism has successfully organized raindrop tourism, but other national and international attractions keep tourists away

Team Herald

PANJIM: Almost a decade ago, Goa’s tourism industry woke up to the possibility of selling ‘raindrops’ to domestic beach-loving tourists in a bid to promote the hinterland scenic of Goa during monsoon.

Several new attractions have been introduced by the Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) to attract tourists during the rainy months, and although the coastal state saw impressive attendance a few years ago, the current low season does not seem not be in favor of the industry. .

With countries like Thailand and Turkey reopening their borders to tourists in a big way; and Coorg, Ooty and other hilly places in the south promoting their verdant landscape, sprawling plantations, forests and waterfalls, Goa seems to be lagging behind as a monsoon destination.

Goa Travel and Tourism Association (TTAG) Chairman Nilesh Shah said current hotel occupancy in Goa has declined slightly from 67% last month to 65% this month.

“The business could definitely be better. Other places have opened wide to tourists. Hotel rates in Thailand are very reasonable, which makes up for the airfares. Likewise, Turkey and Egypt have again jumped into the fray,” he told the Herald.

The weekend scene in Goa is still promising with up to 68% occupancy, he added.

Arrivals, however, have on the whole dropped drastically, with other domestic destinations benefiting from the rains.

A resort owner in Ooty said: ‘We get inquiries and bookings are nearly full during the week and weekends. If there are still available slots, we will call back the relevant person interested in vacationing at our property.

Thailand, a popular international destination among Indians, also competes with Goa. “Thailand is no longer just for single travelers or couples, several Indian families also vacation here. Easy visa availability, reasonably priced stay and excellent public transport system give Thailand an edge over Goa,” said a student who has just returned from vacation in Bangkok.

A Margao resident who recently visited Thailand also echoed the fact that the country is now inundated with Indian tourists. “Clean beaches, systematically planned tourist attractions and a pollution-free environment are the USP. Indian tourists shell out an equal amount or maybe a bit more to vacation in Goa, unlike in Thailand, where they get even better services and benefits. This is the reason why Goa loses out to Thai destinations,” he said.

The Goa Adventures Club, which organizes national and international tours, has suggested that the unexplored parts of Goa should be developed in a sustainable way to attract tourists. “Not only Thailand, but Maldives is also on the list of travel destinations for Indians this year. boast of wildlife. The unexplored beauty of Goa must also be explored,” GAC founder Ahraz Mulla told Herald.

Stakeholders, however, hope that tourist numbers will increase in the coming months, and the arrival of foreign tourists in October marks the start of the tourist season in the state. TTAG has also pushed the state government to guarantee electronic visas for charter tourists and for UK travelers to increase the scale of arrivals. “The ministry is aware and we hope that the obstacles around the e-visa will be lifted, to the benefit of travelers and the tourism industry in Goa,” Shah said.

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