Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goa Tourism Minister Writes Letter to Centre Requesting Visa Rules Relaxations

Experiencing a steep drop in the influx of international tourist, the minister of Goa tourism has made a request to the Centre to make arrangements for relaxing the visa rules and regulations by offering special concessions to the International travellers willing to tour Goa. The Goa tourism minister, Nilkant Halarnkar, wrote a letter to P Chidambaram, the Union home minister, to introduce relaxations in the India travel visa norms for the travellers visiting Goa, the beautiful coastal state of India.

According to the Goa tourism minister, most of Goa tourists comprise repeat visitors, who are now travelling to the Non-Indian coastal hotspots like Thailand and Sri Lanka, as both these countries are offering visa on arrival to their tourists. According to the Indian visa travelling norms, the international tourists need to wait for 2 months before they can re-visit the country, against the earlier Indian visa norm which was valid for the traveller for six months and the international visitors could come to and leave the country whenever they wished, and for that period of 5 to 6 months, Goa would become their preferred travel destination in India, while they also kept the surrounding destinations of Malaysia, Cambodia and Thailand in their itinerary. Later again, they would again travel to Goa to spend the rest of their winter holidays.

This however, has become quite difficult in the Goa tourism scene in the recent times with the enforcing of the stringent India visa norms. So, while only 288 charters touched the soils of Goa in December 2010 against the 700 odd charters that landed in previous years, the hotels of Goa have experienced a dip of 30% dip in their revenues per room! Thus, like the minister of Goa tourism, we too would be eagerly expecting to bring some relaxation in the Indian travel visa rules and regulations so that tourism in Goa starts looking up again.

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