With the inflow of Russian tourists on the decline, at least for now, India's best known beach tourism destination Goa is now eyeing high-spending Chinese tourists.
The state's tourism officials are currently hosting a three-day familiarisation trip for Chinese tourism and travel operators, who are being offered a sample of Goa's tourism bounty, namely its beaches, tropical forests and heritage monuments.
"This FAM trip will help Goa Tourism in a big way as it will bring high-end tourists from China and in turn benefit tourism stakeholders in the state," said Deepak Narvekar, public relations officer of Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC). It is the host agency conducting the excursion for the Chinese visitors.
The three-day FAM trip, which began on May 9, included visits to Goa's heritage sites, beach belt, eco-tourism sites, temples, and also provided an experience of water sports and a taste of Goan cuisine and culture.
Twelve delegates from and around the Chinese city of Urumqi are participating in the visit. Ting Zhang, sales manager for Air Arabia in China, who heads the delegation said: "Goa has beautiful beaches and its cultural diversity has enthralled us very much."
Zhang also said Air Arabia's improved connectivity from the city of Urumqi to Goa could spur tourism arrivals to the beach state.
Urumqi, once a popular pit-stop along the ancient Silk Route, is the capital of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China.
"Urumqi is an inland major city in the world farthest from any ocean, hence Goa and beach tourism has found favour with the Chinese delegation," Narvekar said.
Goa attracts over three million tourists every year, of whom foreign nationals account for half a million. Tourism industry stakeholders in the state have, however, complained about the drop in the inflow of Russian tourists in the 2014-15 season.
The drop is attributed to several factors, including slowdown in the Russian economy.
--Indo-Asian News Service maya/pgh/vt
( 327 Words)