Though the falling rupee versus dollar is causing great concern to the country's economists, it is being seen as a silver lining by the tourism experts in Goa who expect more influx of European tourists during the forthcoming season, for this very reason.
The tourist season in Goa this time, beginning from October, is expected to be better as "the value of rupee is falling," Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) president Fracisco de Braganca said.
"Europeans find Goa a cheaper destination and naturally they will fly here," he said, adding that, however, the situation is not same for the UK travellers, whose own economy is in crisis.
The state expects rise in the tourists from Russia, CIS countries, Poland, Scandinavia and Finland though "there will be further drop from UK," Braganca said yesterday. But, overall TTAG expects a rise in the number of tourists owing to the sluggish rupee versus dollar.
Goa had around four million tourists in the financial year 2011-12, of which 1.69 lakh arrived in 910 chartered flights. In 2010-11, 1.71 lakh had arrived through 900 chartered flights, which was a tremendous increase compared to 1.37 lakh tourists arriving in the state through 626 chartered flights in 2009-10.
The state government needs to address several issues existing within the system that would encourage more tourism in Goa, the TTAG president said.
"There should be consistency in policies of the state government; they change as per the government," Braganca said.
Consistency can be achieved by formation of Tourism Board, which is long overdue in the state, he stated.
The tourism players' association also insisted that Goa government should lobby with the Centre for putting in place arrangements for visa-on-arrival at Dabolim airport. "The government should form a high level committee to pursue the matter," Braganca said.
In yet another constraint, he said, the existing marriage laws in the state are detrimental for the wedding tourism sector.
Foreign tourists who come here for their weddings find it difficult considering the existing marriage laws in the state which have been continuing since Portuguese times.
TTAG has also demanded single window clearance for the events like Sunburn festival or night markets, so that the organisers don't have to spend months together to get the clearances.