Panaji :Even as tourist stakeholders in Goa rued fall in foreign footfall this December, electronic dance music (EDM) festivals like ‘Sunburn’ and ‘Supersonic’ scheduled during the last weekend of this year has advanced the New Year rush to the state.
“In the past, the heightened tourist season was restricted only to December 29, 30 and 31 but now thanks to EDMs, it has advanced to December 24,” said Srinivas Naik, Director, Casino Pride, which owns several casinos including two off shore vessels.
Goa is getting ready for its most rush period with Christmas festivities, EDM festivals and New Year bashes lined up from tomorrow onwards.
“We expect large number of tourists to arrive from December 24 onwards and the rush will continue till January 2,” Naik said.
The state with 27 per cent Christian population celebrates Christmas on a large scale with parties lined up during the entire week.
Travel and Tours Association of Goa (TTAG), an umbrella organisation of tourism stakeholders has pinned hopes on the coming week after not so good December month.
“The month of December was not good. There was a dip in the sales. But now with Sunburn and New Year celebrations, we expect spurt in the sales,” TTAG spokesman Ralf de Souza said.
De Souza said the average room occupancies across all the hotels was around 73-75 per cent during December month, while it would be touching high rate during the last week of this year.
“Since last nine years when we are in Goa. We have set a trend. The amount of tourists that come during Sunburn is tremendous. The music revellers from across the globe participate in the sunburn bringing in huge tourism here,” Shailendra Singh, Joint Managing Director, Percept, who hosts the Sunburn said.
He said the response for the festival is on rise annually, thereby increasing the tourist footfalls in this coastal state. “Sunburn is contributing to Goas economy in a big way,” he said.
Goa annually receives around 4.5 million tourists including 4 lakh foreigners with Russians topping the list followed by Britons.
While Goa remains to be on the list of New Year revelers, several aspects are proving to be dampener “The foreign tourist arrival has drastically declined and its going down further. This is partly because of general recession in Europe, disturbances in Midle East and natural calamities in South East Asian region,” Naik said.
He said Goa is also losing to the competition from South Asian continents like Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau and Indonesia.
State Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar, however, is optimistic about the inflow.
“It is true that the rush has began in the state. We are expecting hundred per cent occupancies during the last week of the current year. Government is supporting all efforts of the industry to grow,” he said.