After years of looking west, Goa Tourism has now sets its sights firmly on the east. A state delegation led by Tourism Minister Nilkanth Halarnkar and Director of Tourism Swapnil Naik recently made a promotional trip to Japan where they showcased Goa as an ideal destination to the urban Japanese tourists.
“Our aim is to attract tourists from Japan, however the main focus will be on young travellers”, said Swapnil Naik adding, “there has been keen interest expressed by the travel and trade fraternity in Japan on adding Goa to the travel itinerary of Japanese travellers. We, in association with India Tourism, will be organizing a familiarization trip for a delegation of the best travel agents from Japan, to better acquaint them with the offerings of our state.”
Japan has already been granted a visa-on-arrival facility by the Indian government, and Goa is looking to tap into this opportunity.
The trade show across three cities saw a presence of over 150 representatives from some of the best travel agencies in Japan including the top travel publications, channels and trade magazines. Representatives of Air India and Kingfisher too attended the event.
M. Sadana, Regional Director (East Asia), India Tourism said, “Goa is an exciting holiday destination for the discerning travellers from Japan. The beaches, hinterland, relaxed lifestyle and entertainment options in Goa will appeal to the people of the country. The next step involves a familiarization trip to Goa for representatives of the travel industry in Japan. We are working on it”.
Tourism Minister Nilkanth Halarnkar added, “Japanese are known for their hard working attitude, work ethics and zeal to succeed. We have invited them to come to Goa to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. We will extend all necessary assistance to make our guests’ travel and stay a memorable experience”
A number of issues were discussed during interactions with travel agents in order to understand the view points of the representatives of the two countries including ways to increase flow of Japanese tourists to Goa.
Some of the suggestions included training local guides in Japanese language and better flight connectivity, especially since Japanese tourists are known to generally travel in groups.