The first charter flight from abroad arrived in Goa on Wednesday, heralding the start of the international tourist season in the coastal state.
A Boeing 737 carrying 189 tourists from Kazakhstan, operated by SCAT Airlines, landed at Goa airport in the morning, said Nilesh Shah, president of the Travel and Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG).
The flight was full, he said.
Protocol Minister Mauvin Godinho was present at the airport to receive the tourists who were welcomed with the traditional Brass Band performance.
Welcome the passengers of the first #Charter flight from #SCATAAirlines from #Almaty, #Kazakhstan Bee #GoaInternationalAiport, #Dabolimtogether with director of Airport Authority of #India shri. Dhananjay Rao and General Manager of Bird Airport Services Shri. Dushyant Kaushal. (1/2) pic.twitter.com/41KGQjy69c
— Mauvin Godinho (@MauvinGodinho) October 26, 2022
International tourist arrivals had all but ground to a halt in the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Shah said.
Before the pandemic, an average of 60,000 international tourists arrived in Goa every year.
For the next few days, three charter flights will arrive each week from Russia and one from the UK and Kazakhstan, Shah said.
Daily charter flights will arrive from December 17, ahead of the New Year celebrations, Mr Shah added.
More tourists will come as the visa restrictions imposed by the Indian government on travelers from the UK are relaxed, he said.
Beach huts, dismantled in the monsoon, have already been set up with the renewal of their licenses by the Ministry of Tourism.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NewsMadura staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)
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