Panaji – Attracting a lot of negative publicity in western Europe and Russia due to a string of high profile sex crimes against foreign tourists, Goa is now looking at Japan to expand its tourism base.
A state level delegation led by Tourism Minister Nilkanth Halarnkar and director of Goa Tourism Swapnil Naik returned from Japan last week after showcasing the sunny coastal state as an ideal tourism destination for the young, urban Japanese.
‘We are looking to attract all age groups of tourists from Japan. However, the focus will be on the young traveller,’ Naik told reporters here Monday, after his visit to three principal cities Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya.
‘There has been keen interest expressed by the travel and trade fraternity in Japan on adding Goa to the travel itinerary of the Japanese traveller. We, in association with India Tourism, will be organising a familiarisation trip for a delegation of the best travel agents from Japan to better acquaint them with the offerings of our state,’ Naik said.
He added that the recent central government decision to allow visa-on-arrival facility to Japanese tourists could have already paved the way for attracting tourists from the country.
Goa’s tourism trade show across the three cities saw a presence of over 150 representatives from some of the best travel agencies in Japan, including top travel publications, channels and trade magazines, Naik said.
‘The people of Japan are known for their hard working attitude, work ethics and zeal to succeed. We have invited them to come to Goa to relax, unwind and rejuvenate,’ Nilkanth Halarnkar said.
In the recent past, Goa has attracted a lot of negative media attention in western Europe and Russia following several sex crimes against foreign nationals and subsequent shoddy police investigations. The state attracts nearly 2.4 million tourists annually, out of which half a million are foreigners.