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Collateral damage: Conflicts in Russia, Ukraine and Israel hit tourist inflow in Goa

Collateral damage: Conflicts in Russia, Ukraine and Israel hit tourist inflow in Goa

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Virendra Pandit 

 

New Delhi: The nearly two-year-old Russia-Ukraine war and the ongoing three-month-long Hamas-Israel conflict have adversely affected regular tourist inflow in Goa.

Until the wars started in February 2022 and October 2023, respectively, tourists from Russia, Ukraine and Israel contributed significantly to the inflow, Goa Tourism Minister Rohan Khaunte said on Wednesday.

Because of the two conflicts, the tourist traffic has shrunk, he said on the sidelines of the launch of Goa’s new initiatives for boosting tourism in the coastal state.

“The crisis in which these counties are involved has shrunk the regular inflow of tourists to Goa,” he said.

Asked how Goa is trying to fill this vacuum, he said the absolute number of tourists visiting this destination in 2023 being higher, compared to the previous year, indicated that domestic tourists are making up the numbers.

“However, it cannot be ignored that international tourists, on average, stay in Goa for eight days, while the average stay of domestic tourists is only four days, he said.

With the Goa government promoting some of its unique tourism destinations, the state is expecting a steady growth in the tourist influx, he said.

“At present, tourism contributes to 16 percent of the state’s GDP. We want it to grow to 20 to 24 percent in the next three years,” Khaunte said.

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