Goa tourism will have to look beyond the current mantra of ‘sun, sea and sand’ if it wants to attract tourists from other countries besides Russian and Europe – this eye-opening suggestion was offered by many buyers at the Goa International Travel Mart 2014.
Claiming that beaches in Goa hold no attraction to tourists in South-East Asia or other eastern countries, Lim Suat Keow, Malaysia marketing manager attached to Asia Pacific Tourism & Cultural Council Pvt Ltd, claimed that Malaysians would be interested to travel to Goa only if they are offered anything ‘different’ other than beaches. “Malaysia has beaches like Goa. So the beaches hold no attractions to Malaysians. I think Goa should promote more of its eco-life, wild life and adventures tourism,” he said.
“I don’t see why travelers from Australia or New Zeeland would visit Goa for beaches when they have their own beaches. More importantly, they can get better deals if they visit Bali, Singapore, Malaysia and any other country in that zone,” he added.
Irvinder Singh, a travel agent based in Singapore, was frank enough to point out that Goa does not stand a chance in attracting tourists from South-East Asian countries if it does not open up its other sides to the world. “Goa is concentrating too much on beach tourism. Also, water sports activities and boat cruises are quite expensive compared to similar services offered in Kerala. I don’t mind bringing my clientele here if Goa is ready to look beyond beach tourism and offer something different,” he said.
A senior tourism official said their efforts are on to advertise all other facets of the state that have never shown to the world. “Goa has variety of things to offer besides over-crowded beach belts. For instance, we have 30,000 old human civilization in the form of rock carvings located in the hinterland of Sanguem. There are people who are willing to pay visit to such sites,” he said.
Home India: Goa needs to expand tourism offerings to attract other markets