The tourism industry experts revealed that Russian travelers prefer to shift their base out of Goa due to stringent visa rules in India that restrict their vacation here. Russians, the second largest group of tourists coming to Goa have preferred Sri Lanka, Thailand and other countries to spend their vacations.
Russian Consulate representative Vikram Verma said that earlier many Russians used to be in Goa during the winter season. “They used to arrive in Goa in November and stay till March or April, when the temperature in their country drops to minus degree Celsius.” He said.
Verma further added that: “Now if they fly out of the country, they have to re-apply for the visa and they can get it only after a cooling period of one month.”
Minar Travels Station Manager Harpal Singh told PTI that visa issues are causing inconvenience to the travelers interested in spending more than two to three months in Goa and these regulations have made them difficult to choose Goa as a destination.
Goa, expecting 55,000 tourists this season, fears drops in tourists. Minar Travels, a tour operator who pioneered the chartered flight movement from Russia was expecting to fly five jumbos per week of Transaero Airlines. However, the tour operator has cancelled two jumbos per week with a capacity of 500 passengers each.