Recent visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin to Goa for BRICS summit may put the coastal state back on list of favourite destinations of Russian tourists whose falling numbers have worried local tourism industry. The tourism stake-holders feel that Goa would regain favour among Russians in the wake of Putin’s visit.
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“Definitely, Goa would be on top of the mind of Russians as their President Putin was in Panaji and the event was widely covered internationally,” Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) president Savio Messias told PTI on Wednesday.
The 8the BRICS summit was held between October 15-16, which was attended by the heads of the five-nation grouping, including Putin.
“We can expect more Russian tourists this time, but economic situation in Russia should improve,” Messias said.
He said post BRICS, Goa would be in the focus of various countries besides Russia, which would open up opportunities of good footfall for the tourist season that has just begun.
The first chartered flight from Russia had arrived in Goa on October 2.
Around 15 million Russians travel overseas for their holidays every year. Of them, nearly 6 million travel to Egypt and Turkey while around 1 million travel to South East Asia and India.
“According to figures from the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, the total number of Russians who visited India in the 2013-14 season stood at 1,12,695,” said Vikram Varma, Legal Advisor to Russian Consulate in Mumbai.
He said this number dropped to 51,076 in the 2014-15 season.
“90 per cent of Russian tourists who arrive in India, come to Goa. With the visit of the Russian president in Goa for BRICS summit, every newspaper and television station in Russia has provided information and coverage on various aspects of Goa to the millions of Russians enjoying international tourism,” Varma said.