PANAJI: In a ranking survey on tourism conducted recently by a private agency, Goa was placed third among top five states. However, a report by the Union ministry of tourism’s market research division has a whole different story about tourist arrivals in the coastal state.
As per the India Tourism Statistics 2017 report, Goa is not even in the list of top ten states/Union territories of the country in terms of domestic tourist visits in 2016. Tamil Nadu tops the chart with 343812413 tourists in this category, while Rajasthan has been placed tenth with 41495115 tourist visits in 2017.
Goa’s figures have been included in ‘others’ along with other states.
In the category of foreign tourist visits in 2016 Goa has been placed ninth with 680683 foreign tourists, registering only 2.8 per cent of the total foreigners visiting India.
Goa also stands on the ninth position in the top ten international check-posts (airport) for foreign tourist arrivals in India in 2016 with 279322 foreign tourists, registering only 3.17 per cent of the total arrivals in India.
Goa has a slightly better ranking when compared with other states in major airport-wise arrival of foreign tourists availing e-tourist visas during 2016 as it has been placed third with 103536 tourists at the Dabolim airport, registering 9.6 per cent of the tourist arrivals in India through e-visas.
Surprisingly, Kerala which competes with Goa has more star-rated hotels and rooms: Kerala has 392 star-rated hotels with 11114 rooms as on December 31, 2015. Goa, on the other hand, has only 4317 number of rooms in 44 star rated hotels during the same period.
It will be interesting to know how the tourism department and the Goa Tourism Development Corporation, which go gaga over private survey reports, will react to these government figures. The figures clearly show that Goa is lagging far behind when compared with other states in India.
Recently at a conference, GTDC managing director Nikhil Desai stated that the state government doesn’t have a mechanism to trace all the tourists visiting Goa.
But question arises as to how the government will draw up tourism master plan when they don’t have the figures available with them.