Goa's Dabolim airport received highest charter flights this year 


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PANAJI: For the first time in the history of Goa's tourism, Goa's Dabolim airport recorded the highest charter arrivals of 1020 flights till April 30, 2013.
Dabolim airport director M Suresh said that normally Goa gets not more than 900 charter flights in the full tourism season ending in May. This year, Dabolim received 943 charter flights in March itself. The charters arrived from countries like Russia, Germany, UK, etc. but charters from Russia were the maximum with the Russian airline Oren Air alone flying 193 charters into Goa till date.
The inbound traffic at Dabolim is expected to swell with the commissioning of the new, modern terminal building with an area of 62,000 square metres and four floors. Built at a cost of Rs 388.53 crore, the new terminal is expected to be ready by June this year.
It will be extremely passenger-friendly with five aerobridges and a peak-hour passenger handling capacity of 2750 passengers. The handling capacity of the existing 16,500 square metres terminal building is only 700 passengers. The new terminal will handle four million passengers per year, Suresh said.

Israel keen to start charter flights to Goa: Dilip Parulekar

PANAJI: Tourism department is upbeat about the interest shown by the Israeli government to start scheduled and charter flights to Goa.

Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar along with deputy chief minister Francis D'Souza is scheduled to visit Israel in June.

Parulekar told TOI that the government has received an invitation from the Israeli government for the visit. "Israeli government is keen to start scheduled as well as charter flights to Goa," said Parulekar.

He added that his department is also keen to start Australia-Singapore-Goa flights to tap tourist potential of Southeast Asia.

During their visit to Israel, other aspects of tourism will also be examined. "We will also study how hinterland tourism is promoted in Israel," Parulekar said.

Every year Goa receives large number of Israeli tourists. The tourism department feels that there still remains a lot of potential to attract Israeli tourists to Goa. "Certainly the potential is huge and we have to tap it," said Pamela Mascarenhas, deputy director of tourism when asked whether the direct flights will further infuse tourism flow to Goa from Israel.

Tourism is one of the major sources of income for Israel with as it has offers attractions for tourists in terms of historical, religious sites and beach resorts.

The country also has many museums.

Despite the ongoing global economic crisis, the Israeli tourism industry thrived in 2012 when the number of tourists to Israel amounted to

with a total of 3.5 million people visiting the country during the year.

On the other hand, foreign tourist inflow to Goa during the recently concluded season was 4.5 lakh. Moreover, the State is yet to promote many aspects of tourism.;===========================

Arunachal wins Lonely Planet tourism award

ITANAGAR: Arunachal Pradesh has been put on global tourism radar after being adjudged one of the winners of the Lonely Planet magazine India Travel Awards for 2013 on Monday.
The state, known as the 'Last Shangri La on earth', was declared the second runner-up in the 'Emerging Destinations in India' category in the prestigious award ceremony, next to Gujarat and Jammu & Kashmir, which were adjudged the winner and first runner-up respectively, official sources said.

A panel of experts from the tourism industry, including Karan Anand (Cox & Kings), Veena Patil (Kesari Travels), Deep Kalra (Make My Trip), Manju Kashyap (Windmill Holidays), Rajeev Waghle (Kuoni Travels), shortlisted candidates in 42 categories, which then invited votes from readers of the Lonely Planet Magazine from across the world.

Notably, the Arunachal Pradesh tourism department was felicitated by President Pranab Mukherjee during the National Tourism Awards 2011-12 on March 18 for taking the 'Incredible India' initiative to new heights.

Arunachal was awarded the best state for 'Campaign Clean India' and also won a special prize for the most innovative use of information technology at the National Tourism Awards function.

The state tourism department had taken the Campaign Clean Arunachal to all the districts to sensitize and educate all stakeholders - including the youth, NGOs, villagers, hoteliers and tour operators - about the importance of cleanliness and its impact on health, not only of tourists but also locals. An attractive jingle sung by two popular Indian bands was used to attract the youth to this campaign.

In 2012, Arunachal was adjudged the 4th best region by Lonely Planet, BBC's globally circulated magazine. The state was also voted the 'Favourite Upcoming Destination' by Outlook Traveller readers, an outcome of a survey conducted in 2012 through a poll in January last. The survey was an authoritative benchmark of consumer preferences in travel and tourism across 18 categories, including hotels, airlines and holiday destinations.

At India's first three-day International Tourism Mart in Guwahati, Assam, in January, Arunachal's unique culture, cuisine, art and handicrafts had attracted a lot of attention, particularly from 100 international delegates from three SAARC and 10 ASEAN countries.

Sources also added that improved publicity methods employed by the department—advertisements in well-known travel and tourism magazines, the Time magazine and hoardings at major airports have started to pay dividends.

The reason for the change is us. We don’t have any problem with them, they have problems from us. The Government is yet to take any initiative to make them feel at home 


On May 06, 2013

Trivandrum: We hardly talked for five minutes when he started offering me cigarettes and soft drinks. Truth of the matter is that I was scared of him since we hardly expect strangers, that too from ‘another land’, to be so amicable. Yes, he was a migrant labourer and, I realised later, that he was just being friendly.

Unfortunately, all are not like him. They are usually guarded while talking with someone outside their circle and characteristic in praising everybody and everyone in Kerala. Renjith, 20, from Assam, lives in a small room with three others. He earns Rs.10,000 a month as a construction worker and goes home during Durga Pooja. Nirmal tells us a story of being swindled by his fellow native. Shankar from Assam, who lives with 20 others was also cheated by an auto driver. Both of them didn’t register an FIR since their grasp of the local lingo was poor.

Dulal, 24, a Bengali, does not make friends as he fears it will balloon his expenses. While Krishna, from Assam, who is a construction worker, lives with 12 others there are instances of 50 persons sharing a single room.

They seemed afraid of something. This fear was not so prominent two or three years ago when this writer interviewed them. The reason for the change is us. Though Kerala Police is better than most of the other states in their dealings with migrants, some precautions taken by them seemed to have crossed the limit.

A shopkeeper at East Fort says that we don’t have any problem with them, they have problems from us. Beaten by the police and barred from the Gandhi Park which was their sole meeting ground, the administration is harassing them with no particular reason. Today, they are facing obstacles in finding their brethrens.

Police too confirms that migrants do not create any problem. Their excuse of not being allowed to gather at Gandhi Park is that there flocking together might give them anti social ideas! Besides, they cause discomfort to pedestrians. Would this create contrary outcomes one wonders.

=============================this is true for tourism also

tourists are not finding kerala people as friendly as Goans??

kerala people are not to be blamed  .it is the politicians and their selfish daily bandhs ;selfish daily demonstrations/selfish daily violence .that is the reason
 IN 1940's kerala was a quiet place without politicians,demonstrations,bandhs ;violence 
democracy is now demo -crazy
putting common man under house arrest is known as bandh     

down with selfish politics and  politicians

Things are rough for migrants when it comes to accommodation and communicating in Malayalam. Further, we have not taken any initiative to integrate their culture with ours which is going to happen whether we want it or not. Of those who were interviewed by Yentha, none were a Malayalam movie buff not had they tasted Masala Dosas.

Yes, we really need to do something and we have a long way to go.

 domestic tourists drive to Goa from across the country.

domestic tourists a car could be their hotel room

PANAJI: The trend of driving to Goa on weekends or for a short holiday is picking up as many domestic tourists are opting to bring their vehicles to Goa rather than rely on private transport available in the state. Tourists also enjoy the leisurely drive to Goa in the comfort of their own vehicle, and some even spend a night in the parked car.

Delhi-resident Sanjay Aggarwal who drove his SUV packed with friends to Goa said, "When you travel in your own vehicle you can easily cut down on travelling costs as taking a flight could be very costly if tickets are not booked in advance. Also, you are not at the mercy of local taxi drivers who charge exorbitantly." Aggarwal also recalled a bitter exchange he had with a taxi driver during a visit to Goa two years earlier.

While there are no available statistics of domestic tourists visiting Goa in their own vehicles, the trend is catching and is evident from the number of outstation vehicles that can be spotted at tourist spots in the state.

Chennai-based IT professional Rakesh Mohan drove to Goa with his wife last week on a holiday. He opted to drive as this offers one the liberty of taking a break anytime. "If I like a particular spot I can halt and enjoy the scenery without bothering about the running meter of the taxi," Mohan, who finds driving an exhilarating experience, said.

For some, a vehicle can also be an alternative to a hotel room. Abhay Patil and his friends travelled from Chalishgao, Maharashtra, in their four-wheeler. "Coming in our own car is more convenient and if hotel accommodation is expensive, we can always sleep in the vehicle itself," Patil said. A number of tourists are seen sleeping in their vehicles at night.

Samir Morajkar, a manager of a popular nightclub in Arpora, said domestic tourists drive to Goa from across the country. "I have seen people come driving from Himachal Pradesh and even from the east coast," Morajkar said.

There is also a large segment of tourists coming from states like Rajashtan, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh who opt for package bus tours which are more economical than train travel.

Ahmedabad businessman Nilesh Kumar, 45, in Goa with his wife and two kids said. "This time, I have chosen to travel by air since my kids insisted on it. I also wanted to have this experience to travel at least once. At other times, when I have come with friends or alone, I have taken a train or a bus as it is more cost effective," Kumar said.

Kumar believes it is better to travel by one's own vehicle than be at the mercy of the local transporters. He said his entire travel cost this trip was 50,000 for four people.

Those who don't come in their own vehicles find renting a two-wheeler and riding across the state on it an economical option. "We have taken two bikes on rent as it is cheaper than spending 1,500-2,000 a day on taxis to visit few tourist spots," said Shreeyash and his three friends who are in Goa to chill out after the exams.

A family of 53 from Baroda who sojourned in Goa was for two days said package bus tours are affordable. Tejas Shah, 33, a serviceman, said, "Our entire trip became affordable and was cost effective because we came in this package bus tour from Baroda. It involved food as well, so we don't have to spend separately." tnn ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

seaplane,  caravan for Kerala tourism

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Hot on the heels of UDF government's seaplane project, efforts are on to introduce caravan tourism in the state. Officials at the state tourism department are busy preparing a detailed project report to submit to the ministry of tourism for funding to develop caravan parks in five locations across the state - Thirunelli, Vagamon, Soochippara, Bekal and Ponmudi.

"Kerala tourism is always interested in developing new products to promote the state as a top-notch tourism destination. The seaplane project is nearing completion and we have to move on to the next viable project. Caravan tourism is top on the agenda list, especially as the ministry of tourism has issued a guideline regarding the service," said a source from the tourism department. Caravans which have basic facilities for stay and travel, including bedrooms and kitchen, can be used to reach places and enjoy scenic vistas where hotels can't be built.

The MoT, in 2009, unveiled a policy for developing caravan tourism in India, however, only Madhya Pradesh capitalized on the idea.

The state tourism department had sent a project proposal a year back but there was no response from the ministry. However the department is in the process of drawing up a fresh one.

Murali Krishanan, CEO of Green Transit Bangalore Pvt Ltd, a tour and travel service provider, which had helped Madhya Pradesh to procure the caravans said he was interested in the Kerala market.

The caravans that interest Kerala tourism are ultra-light weight 32-feet travel trailers available in the USA that are easy to tow by Indian-made SUV's. "There would be the self-drive option (with GPS tracking) or we could provide a diver and cook. The trailers would have two bedrooms and a bath, one of the bedrooms will have a bunk style to accommodate four people, a kitchenette and an exterior shower facility. Bicycles, canoes, rafting gear etc., will also be available to enjoy outdoor activity," said the source from the department.

State tourism department is preparing a detailed project report to submit to the ministry of tourism for funding to develop caravan parks.     

OMG: Salman and Shah Rukh in the same place at the same time?

Last Updated: Monday, May 20, 2013, 12:04
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OMG: Salman and Shah Rukh in the same place at the same time? Zee News Bureau

New Delhi: Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan – who recently became neighbours after our very own Chulbul Pandey purchased an apartment near Mannat – seem to be having too much in common these days.

According to a tabloid, the two Titans of Bollywood – who are well known arch rivals – were in the party capital of the country – Goa – at pretty much the same time.

What’s more interesting is the fact that the two Bollywood A-listers were apparently not many kilometers apart even while they were shooting for their respective films till recently – according to sources about two days back.

“People shudder to imagine what would happen if SRK and Salman shared the same roof. It’s an unwritten diktat that when one enters the venue, the other would promptly leave. It came as a surprise to know that both of them were in Goa, busy shooting for their films,” a source said.

If rumours are anything to go by, Shah Rukh was filming for his upcoming flick ‘Chennai Express’ in north Goa, while Salman was shooting for his much talked about ‘Mental` in south Goa.

“Production people who were managing the respective films knew about the presence of the other party. Salman wrapped up his work and is back in Mumbai now. SRK is still continuing with his schedule without Deepika Padukone. Thankfully, not once did either him or Salman cross each other’s paths,” the source added.

That was a close shave!


'Russian charter tourists arriving in Goa to touch 2 lakh'

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PANAJI: The number of Russian charter tourists to Goa will go up to two lakh in the next two years, said Victor Albuquerque, who has recently been appointed honorary consul general of the Russian federation in Goa.
Albuquerque told mediapersons on Monday that "Russians presently constitute the largest contingent of charter tourists to Goa, with around 600 flights from Russia arriving annually".

While pointing out that 1.25 lakh Russian tourists had come to the state during the present tourism season, he said he expects the figure to increase to 1.50 lakh in the next season and two lakh in a couple of years.

Trying to clear the perception of Russians being involved in illicit activities and the mafia operating in the state, Albuquerque said Russians were getting more negative image since the number of Russians visiting Goa was very large. "Since they come in large numbers, the perception is that they are involved in mafia or drugs but this wasn't true," he stated. He also said the "mafia is in all tourism (areas)... Not only in Goa and India, but in France and Spain (as well). You (mafia) can be based anywhere and still operate".

He said that he was of the opinion that "95% of the Russian tourists were genuine tourists who come to Goa for a good holiday", and that the Russians spend well bringing in 60% of the revenue generated from the charter business. "We need to take advantage of the fact that Russian tourists to the state were increasing, " he added.

Albuquerque said the honorary consulate in Panaji will assist Russians facing genuine problems, such as those who were robbed, had lost their passports or visas, etc. "But no assistance will be provided to those involved in shady activities or to lawbreakers," he said.

He felt the setting up of the honorary consulate in Goa would benefit the Russian tourists as presently the Russian tourists in the state have to rely on the consulate in Mumbai and 99% of them cannot speak proper English, thus leading to problems in time of difficulty.

"Once news goes around that there is an honorary consulate in the state, it has a cascading effect in increasing tourists coming to Goa as they know they will have some assistance if required," Albuquerque said.

He also announced that an ensemble of musicians from Russia will be performing in the state on June 15. tnn