Goa, one of the most popular tourist hotspots in the country, is set to witness a significant jump in the arrival of visitors as flight and hotel bookings climb up for this coastal state.
Online travel agency ixigo said bookings for Goa have jumped by 74 per cent, and inquiries by 66 per cent in October, from a month ago, according to a report in Moneycontrol. The travel agency added the bookings were increased by 31 per cent on a year-on-year basis.
According to Aloke Bajpai, CEO and Founder of ixigo, tourists from Delhi were flocking to Goa to get an escape from air pollution. He added that low airfares, especially from Mumbai, on the lead-up to Diwali are also boosting Goa's tourism.
Data shows that tickets are 27.78 percent cheaper on the Mumbai-Goa route. For the rest, including flights from Bengaluru, Kolkata, and Delhi, fares have inched higher.
Goa has emerged as a top destination in EaseMyTrip also. Nishant Pitti, CEO of EaseMyTrip said, "If you go by the most popular vacation destination in India it is Goa right now". Pitti said it was because Goa's coronavirus infection rate was low. The positivity rate in the coastal state is at 11 per cent as compared to 30 per cent a month ago. As of November 6, Goa has recorded more than 44,000 cases, of which 41, 849 have recovered.
Not just flight, people are driving-in from Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad to spend their holidays in Goa, Gajanan Kerkar, Director, Best Tourism Deals India Pvt Ltd said. This is because now people no longer required to come with their negative test reports to enter the state. Earlier, tourists, travelling by roads, had to wait at the border for hours to get an entry to the state.
Several people from the hospitality sector said that hotels and villas are doing brisk business amid the increase in tourists' footfall in Goa. This month, the Goa government reopened casinos--a 19-year-old industry of the state-- with 50 per cent capacity.
Goa, the top beach and nightlife tourism destinations in the country, received more than seven million tourists last year. Nearly half a million of them were foreigners.