From cow dung to ITM, Goa changes for chartered tourists
Anti-tourism sentiments ran high with activists fearing that Goa will get all evils once the foreigners begin arriving on the beaches.
Two decades down the line, Goa government's tourism projections are dependent on how many chartered flights will arrive in the state this season. And any jump in the number is considered as a matter to cheer about.
All attempts are made to woo travel agents operating chartered flights, the latest being in the form of International Tourism Mart (ITM), inviting people to see the fascinating destination, which has become a brand name in the tourism industry.
Tourism department director Swapnil Naik said that this season, there will be 15 per cent additional arrivals of Chartered flight with enormous interest shown by Russians and other European countries like Poland.
Goa receives around 500-odd chartered flights and with airport being thrown open 24 hours, this time, the charters are expected to land mostly in the night.
Heralding the official tourist season, the first chartered flight will touch Goan soil on October 1 bringing in 100-150 passengers.
Superintendent of Police (Immigration) Tony Fernandes said that the flight 'Arke Fly' is the first chartered plane expected to come to Goa.
Airport Immigration authorities expect that the airport will be busy accepting chartered aircraft from October 15 onwards when flights from European countries will start arriving.
The flights are expected mostly on Thursdays and Sundays.
"The flights have