Goa could soon be on NRI holiday radar

January 15th, 2011 - 6:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Jan 15 (IANS) Goa could soon emerge as a favoured holiday destination of US-based non-resident Indians (NRIs) who visit India on their annual sojourn, a tourism body said here.Atlanta-based Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) spokesman C.K. Patel told reporters that modalities were being worked to assist diverting this annual traffic of NRIs to Goa for a “few days in paradise”.

“Every year, a large number of Indian residents in the US visit their homes in India. We can assist in diverting some of this traffic to Goa for a holiday,” said Patel.

A 34-member delegation of the AAHOA is in Goa to interact with tourism officials and the tourism and travel industry stakeholders and to scout for other investment opportunities in the state.

Patel, who is a key member on the travel and tourism advisory board assisting the US administration, added: “We will also be taking up the issue of relaxation of visa norms with the US government for Indian travellers and expect the Indian government to do the same on a reciprocal basis”.

The AAHOA represents 10,000 members owning more than 20,000 hotels across the US. It also represents a share of over 45 percent of the entire mid-scale hotel industry, worth a total of $128 billion in property value.

AAHOA president Fred Schwartz said that Goa was a global tourism destination and that a familiarisation trip for leading stakeholders of the US hospitality industry to Goa was on the cards.

“Through our strong network and viral marketing initiatives, we will assist in channelising these visitors to Goa,” he said.

According to state tourism director Swapnil Naik, the tourism department was due to conduct a road show in the US to promote Goa as a prime tourist destination.

“We are looking to actively promote Goa in the US and are grateful for the support offered by AAHOA. Goa Tourism has planner a series of road shows in the US in February and have sought the assistance of AAHOA in making these road shows a success,” he said.

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