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Most Russian tourists dump Goa as it’s too expensive, too crowded, flock to Visakhapatnam

The beaches of Andhra Pradesh may soon surpass those in Goa with Russians.

While Goa has been the preferred choice of destination for tourists coming in from abroad, even Russian tourists, efforts are being made to divert them to Visakhapatnam instead, by offering services and better value for money.. (Read more here…)

Tourism authorities say that Russians are now preferring Vizag to Goa as the latter has become too expensive for the Russians. “The Russians do not eat or drink much – at least in Goa where coastal restaurants pride themselves on their sea-food dishes, which are exquisite but very expensive as well. The Russians are looking for alternate venues where they can cook their own food, and lodges and smaller hotels in Vizag are offering them just that,” said a hotelier in Visakhapatnam. (Read more here…)

Two Russian tour operators who regularly organise trips for Russian tourists to Goa will be flying down to the city on May 16. They will do a recon of the city and bring down three groups of tourists in December if they like what they see. This development comes after the role AP Tourism Department played in the Moscow International Travel & Tourism exhibit that was held recently.

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The international tourists that flock Goa can be divided into two segments – those who travel independently and those chartered. Russians have always been the majority of the international tourists visiting Goa and tour operators believe the number has reduced due to security issues. So now, they believe, is the right time to look into the potential of Vizag as a good alternative. (Read more here…)

There are many beaches in Goa like Arambol, Colva, Vagator, Baga and Anjuna that are popular, and certain others reserved specifically for foreign tourists. But compared to Goa, Vizag has a low crime rate, with lesser amount of drugs and sex trade involved too. Hotels in Goa usually sign contracts with foreign charters and allocate rooms for tourists. Between October 2015 and May 2016, 1.6 lakh Russians visited Goa.

Seeing those numbers, the clean, pristine beaches and the comparatively safe nature of Vizag is sure to woo the Russian tour operators to the port city. (Read more here…)

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh has managed to beat its counterpart Telangana in tourism. Amongst 35 states and Union Territories in India, AP Tourism stands third in attracting domestic tourists, but Telangana stands at 30. The above statements are based on figures tabled at Rajya Sabha.

Andhra Pradesh seems to be doing well in the tourism sector with Telangana trailing far behind. National and international events hosted by AP, temple tourism via Tirumala, increased air connectivity and plans for lending better experiences to tourists via Borra Caves, Araku Valley, Rushikonda Beach and more have made AP the hotspot not just for domestic tourists but also international ones.

Andhra Pradesh has witnessed a 20% rise in domestic arrivals against the 71% rise in international arrivals between 2013 & 2015. Telangana on the other hand is falling short on footfalls showing only a 1% rise in domestic arrivals and sadly a 19% decrease in international arrivals.

While the AP government is doing its bit by offering reasonable packages and focusing on developing tourism in Visakhapatnam and its surroundings, it is the Tirumala temple that continues to bring in the moolah. Laxminarayana, Consultant for Tourism, AP government reportedly stated that it is Tirumala temple that continues to attract in a chunk of tourists from across the country but Visakhapatnam and its surrounding areas continue to gain attention from tourists of West Bengal and Odisha. The same is due to the reasonable packages being offered.

Sunita Bhagwat, Commissioner of Tourism, Department of Telangana reportedly stated that Telangana is only experiencing a low footfall due to lack of awareness amongst tourists. People are pretty much aware of Tirupati while they aren’t really aware of Yadagirigutta. But the Telangana tourism department has planned 12 roadshows to change this scenario and has been trying up with tour operators and travel writers to bring in more footfall to the state.

They are also coming up with an eco-tourism circuit at Mulugu-Gattamma temple area, Laknavaram lake, Medaram Gaddelu, Tadvai forest area, Damaravai Megalithic structures and Mallur temple in Warangal district in coordination with the Union Government. Hyderabad will also be hosting Skal World Congress, 2017 from October 5 to 9. The event will bring in tourism leaders from across the world to promote global tourism and friendship.

SOURCE: YO VIZAG

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