Panaji: Goa tourism minister Rohan Khaunte on Friday said that the high spending Russian tourists are going to Dubai, while Goa still depends on its traditional markets of Russia and the UK to drive its international arrivals.
Khaunte told the ongoing monsoon session of Goa legislative assembly that the high spending tourists are found in Dubai.
“They should come to Goa. They have stopped coming to Goa. We need to study what happened,” the minister said responding to volley of questions from opposition benches on the floor of the house.
Khaunte said that the state wants to know what exactly went wrong that they were diverted to destination like Dubai.
The minister said that besides the traditional markets of Russia and the UK, Goa should also look at emerging markets like like USA, UAE, Germany, South Korea, Japan which are showing increase in the outbound tourists.
Khaunte said that Goa should emulate from the destination like Saudi Arabia which is developing after introducing new tourism services and different kind of projects.
The minister said Goa has opportunity to increase the footfalls with the commissioning of second airport in the state – Manohar International Airport at Mopa.
He said that after the current assembly session (ending on August 10), he along with chief minister Pramod Sawant will call on the union Civil aviation minister, Union Home minister and others to demand that the new airport should be made point of call for the international flights.
“We have started talking Goa beyond beaches. We have to take every opportunity so ensure that economy rises and employment is created,” he said.
The minister said that Goa is there in the tourism sector but government needs to only position it. “We want quality and not quantity. Kerala is one such success story that we should learn from,” he said.
Khaunte said that the nautical tourism policy will be in place which will take care of the cruise ships. “We aim is to increase the number of cruise ships. We have to take advantage of promixity of port and airport at Vasco,” he said.
Responding to a question by Mandrem MLA Jit Arolkar, the minister said that Goa is participating in the domestic travel shows to promote Prime Minister’s initiative of Dekho Apna Desh.