The image of Goa seems to be changing to a ‘monsoon destination’, from being a popular summer hot-spot till now for vacationers.
There was a 60 per cent rise in the number of visitors to the coastal state during the rainy season last year, a Goa tourism official said.
Till sometime back, the state, known for its scenic beaches, used to receive foreign tourists mostly in the summer months while the monsoon time was traditionally a lean period.
However, as per data released by the state tourism department last week, there was a 60 per cent rise in the number of tourists during the last year’s monsoon season – between June and September.
This is a phenomenal rise as compared to 22 per cent growth in the number of visitors in the same period in 2016, said Tourism Director Menino D’Souza.
A total of 19.15 lakh tourists arrived in Goa last year between June and September, as against11.93 lakh in 2016 during the same period.
“A total of 18.55 lakh domestic tourists visited the state during the monsoon season last year as compared to 11.48 lakh in 2016. Besides, there were 60,161 foreign tourist footfalls in that period last year as against 45,437 in 2016,” D’Souza said.
As per the official data, the state recorded a 30.75 per cent growth in tourist arrivals in June last year, 61.44 per cent in July, 71.39per cent in August and 94.55 per cent in September.
There has been a rise in footfalls because the Goa government is aggressively marketing and promoting the state as a “365-day tourism destination” with a focus on the monsoon months, D’Souza said.
“The monsoon time is now a preferred season for travel by both domestic and foreign tourists. This increasing attraction to the state can be attributed to the pleasant weather conditions during those months, scenic landscapes and adventure activities like white water rafting and trekking,” he said.
During the last two to three years, the Goa tourism department has tried to turn the off-season (June to September period) into a bustling time for tourism stakeholders, and the hotel and hospitality industry, D’Souza said.
There has been an overwhelming response to activities like monsoon festivals and special packages offered for visits to waterfalls and springs during the rainy season, he added.