‘Russian tourists in Goa may touch 200,000’

Panaji, May 20 (IANS) The number of Russian tourists to Goa could soon touch 200,000 annually, newly-appointed Russian honorary consul in Goa Victor Albuquerque said Monday.

Albuquerque, a reputed businessman in Goa, was speaking to reporters in his first media conference after being appointed a couple of months ago to act as a first point of assistance to the thousands of Russian tourists who have been flocking to Goa.

“We are somewhere at the top of the charter tourism curve. At 200,000 (Russian tourists), we would reach the top,” Albuquerque said, adding that the peril of charter tourism is that it suffers from a suicidal curve and success and failure is cyclical.

He, therefore, feared that the influx of Russian tourists could also wane like the British charter tourists, who once occupied pole position on Goa’s tourism arrival charts. British charter tourists were now a distant second as compared to the Russians, the new flavour of the season for the last five years.

Albuquerque said 95 per cent of the Russian tourists arrivals in Goa were by charter flights which, unlike commercial airliners, are specially hired by global tour and travel operators to fly tourists to and from holiday destinations.

“This year we had 125,000 Russians who came to Goa by charter flights,” Albuquerque said.

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