Goa losing international destination tag due to domestic tourism

Panaji: Increased inflow of domestic tourists is ruining Goa's reputation as an international tourism destination, a top travel and tourism industry official said, adding that the coastal state needed to restore the balance of inbound foreign and domestic tourists.

"Gradually we are losing the image of an international tourist destination. You find that more and more domestic tourists are creating an imbalance as to the kind of tourists that are visiting Goa. Domestic tourism brings us good revenue, but international tourism is necessary to sustain domestic tourism itself," outgoing president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) Francisco Braganca said on Saturday.

The TTAG is one of the oldest body of tourism and travel industry stakeholders in Goa, a popular beach tourism destination which attracts nearly four million tourists every year, out of which half a million are foreigners.

Goa has been a popular tourism destination for European, mainly tourists from Britain and Russia.

Over the last year, while the number of foreign inbound tourists has increased gradually, the increase in the number of domestic tourists to the beach state has increased manifold, creating the imbalance, according to Braganca.

"Every year you see that the proportion of domestic tourists is much higher than international tourists. You go to Calangute, you go to Candolim, you go to Baga (referring to popular beaches in North Goa), you do not see family oriented tourists, you do not see foreign tourists. We need to correct this," Braganca said.

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