PANAJI, India - Encouraged by the increasing number of tourists to Goa from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iran, the tourism department has decided to participate in the Arabian Travel Mart to tap potential tourists to the state.
In the 2011-12 tourism season (October to March), the Dabolim airport received 13 charter flights from Iran, bringing in 1,700 tourists, while 1,000 tourists arrived from the UAE.
"We may participate in the Arabian Travel Mart in Dubai this year. We did not participate during the last two years. This year, there are many direct scheduled flights arriving in Goa from Dubai and that is why we want to tap the market," tourism director Swapnil Naik told STOI. Goa can attract tourists from the UAE and Iran, which has shown good potential now, he added.
Air India, Air Arabia and Qatar Airways have scheduled direct flights to Goa from UAE, Naik said.
The tourism department will also participate in major international tourist marts to attract tourists from various countries for the next tourism season. "We will participate in World Travel Mart-London, International Travel Bazaar in Berlin and FITUR in Spain," he added, while stating that the team will also go to travel marts in Poland, Hungary and Austria to attract charter flights from these countries.
This year, so far, Goa received 25 charter flights from Poland, which brought 2,700 tourists. As per the provisional figures, 2,185 tourists have arrived from Austria in 2011.