PANJIM: The regular charter flights from Poland to Goa have been deferred owing to strict visa norms, Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) spokesperson Ralph D’Souza said. The chartered tourist flights from Poland were to start their regular movement to Goa from this year, but have now prolonged their operations by one-and-half month.
“We are expecting first chartered flight to arrive Goa by first week of November but due to time-consuming visa formalities, it will not begin operation before December 15,” D’Souza told reporters.
The tourism industry fears that if the Central Ministry does not modify the formalities, these tourists will be re-routed to another tourist destination. “The delay will result in cancellation of seven flights from India and hence losing 1500 tourists. If things do not improve, the tour operators will offer their clients another tourist destination,” he said.
Overseas visitors were given long-term visa extending to one year and multiple entry visas valid for three years. “If India relaxes its strict norms, the foreign tourist inflow can increase by 15 per cent. We don’t mind if the Ministry of Home Affairs limits visitors from hostile countries,” he said, adding that tourists arriving from traditional tourism markets should not suffer.
Goa welcomes nearly 40 per cent repeated clienteles, however, with the new directives, foreign visitors face problem to re-enter the country. As per the Indian Government directives, a foreign visitor after going back to its country has to maintain one-month break period and re-apply for the visa. Moreover, tourist visa for more than three months is not issued by India.
D’Souza said they are on the verge of losing tourists to competitive destinations like Thailand, Singapore, Sri Lanka and other Asian countries. “If visa norms take three weeks or more, how can we get tourists who plan their visit at eleventh hour,” he questioned.


N.Fernandes (London) said...

Goa`s Tourism Board spends a lot of Tax payers money promoting Goa.Every year there seems to be some issue.
Last year is was the allocation of Licences for shacks.
It is time the Goa Tourism Board and the Tourism Minister Harlankar impresses the Mistry of Home Afairs to resolve the constant visa issue.
The current thinking of Goa Tourism is to attract/ promote Goa to a Higher class of high spending tourists.
With such a fiasco each and every year they seem much better at attracting , Terrorists,drug pushers,drug mules,bar girls,prostitutes,Massage Parlours.lamanis,Kashmiris etc.
Tourists are not stupid or forced to come to Goa.
They can easily travel to other destinations like Sri Lanka,Thailand,Bali,Maldives etc.
what aboutt the last Tourism minister, Mickky.He paraded his arse around the world promoting GOA,only to then tell them WELCOME to the Rape capital of the world.
For a Tourism Minister like Mickky who practices "rape" on very young girls he must know this subject well.

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