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Goa pushes for bilateral visa fee exemption between India and Russia to boost tourist inflow from Russia

IndiaNewsNetwork.IN Bureau | 24th Sept 2015:  According to a Times of India report, the Govt of Goa and the Goa tourism department is trying to extend an olive branch to Russian tourists coming to Goa.

The Goa Tourism  dept will pursue with the government of India bilateral visa fee exemption between India and Russia, the TOI report stated. The Russian government has already written to the government of India while making a move in this direction. The issue was discussed at the recently-concluded Moscow trade fair.

Nilesh Cabral, Goa Tourism Development Corporation (GTDC) chairman, who was part of the Goa delegation, that went to Moscow, said at least, the government should do away with group visa fee. “We had a discussion with Russia’s deputy tourism minister and tourism director on this,” he said. If done, it will give a much-needed boost to the tourist flow to Goa from Russia that has taken a hit after the economic crisis in Russia, and crisis in Ukraine,” he said.

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As reported by IndiaNewsNetwork.IN, about 20,000 Russian tourists too have cancelled their bookings at the last minute. Romanaov Serko, a tourist operator from Moscow, says the Government of India is not actually keen on promoting tourism in Goa. Other countries are offering huge discounts and incentives to charter operators who bring in flights to their country. But the Goa Government and the Govt. of India is only increasing charges, dues and levies every here, while the overall experience has gone down considerably. “Goa is not what it was 10 years ago in terms of overall tourist experience, but the costs of flying to Goa and staying in Goa have gone up almost 20 times over the last ten years. Why should a tourist come to Goa when several other cheaper and better options are available in other places, ” asks Serko.

Official British travel sources and information obtained from various travel agencies operating in Britain and neighboring countries, including inputs from charter flight operators, revealed that over 8500 tourists who have been coming regularly to Goa for at least the last 5-8 years have cancelled their bookings and plans of coming to Goa this year. The same tourists have moved to different locations which according to them are much cheaper, cleaner and peaceful.

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One comment

  1. There is no hike in AAI charges. It was taken back. Pls don’t spread canards

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