Panaji, Jan 6: ‘White-skinned’ tourist arrivals have dropped in Goa this tourist season, according to Tourism Minister Dileep Parulekar.
Parulekar said the shortfall was caused by rival tourism destinations like Kerala and Gujarat who had managed to wean away the foreign tourists.
“Foreign tourists, white-skinned tourists who we call foreigners, are not much. They have come, but less. Even the Russians are less,” Parulekar told the media.
His statement comes within a month of Parulekar’s claims that Goa would attract a record 35 lakh tourists in the 2012-13 season which starts in October and ends in March.
Parulekar now says that during the peak December season, eight lakh tourists visited Goa and most were from either Maharashtra or Karnataka.
Parulekar blamed Gujarat and Kerala for poaching on Goa’s tourists.
“The only reason why the number has dropped is because they have been diverted to our competitors like Kerala and Gujarat,” Parulekar said.
Goa annually attracts over 2.5 million tourists annually, out of which half a million are foreigners.
Over the last two years, Russians have topped the list of foreign visitors to Goa with more than 80,000 flocking to the fun-filled and warm beaches. British tourists rank next on the list of arrivals.