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Goa, the wonderful Indian State...Come and enjoy the fun and hospitality.


Motaz Othman


ITB Berlin



During my visit to ITB 2015, I had the chance to meet with Mr. Nikhil Desai, M.D of Goa Tourism Development Corporation at Goa stand which was decorated with bright colors, Yellow, Orange, Blue and to listen to nice music and to see beautiful girls dancing and enjoying their time, I asked Mr. Nikhil few questions about Goa and it’s attractions:



Q:  What about attractions in Goa in general and for Middle East Travelers in particular.


A:  Goa is very beautiful place, we are located in the western coast of India, boarded by Arabian Sea, around 500 Kilometers south of Mumbai, we are linked to Middle East with various carriers like Etihad, Qatar, Air Arabia and soon Oman Air will be flying to Goa. It’s a beautiful place and full of nature, we got the most beautiful beaches in the world, people of Goa are very friendly and welcoming, this is a place one can do many activities such as Yuga, Ayruvida, nature, backwaters, heritage, art, culture, and also enjoy the best cuisine. We got visitors from all over the world, we have rated from National Geographic as the best 6th nightlife destination in the world, we are very excited by this rating, and lots of weddings are happening in Goa, it’s a place for Leisure for Budget category up to high luxury category. Goa is very safe and plenty of activities to do like balloons, vessels, water sports, Viking and many things, this all available for all visitors and during June to September Goa is a very nice to visit, stay and enjoy.



Q: What about the weather between June and September.


A: Not hot with lot of rains in the entire state, land became very green and this is the best time in Goa to enjoy Ayruvida and Yoga, but most of the foreign tourists come from October to March cause it got very mild weather and very pleasant, April to May, it will be very hot. During June to September lot’s of Arab tourists coming to enjoy their vacations in Goa.



Q: I have been to Goa, I can assure that its clean city, where ever you go, in beaches and streets, can you explain more please.


A: Goa is very clean, we have recently integrated for all Goa beaches to insure that it’s clean, one of the most cleanest beaches in the world, we are also very safe destination, over 800 life guards in the beaches, also tourist police good security, it’s not only very green but as well very safe and value for money, well connected and got plenty of Holiday options for travelers from Middle East countries.



Q: In my last visit to Goa, I saw Casino’s as well, however, I believe that the state of Goa is the only state which offers Casino’s and it’s legal.


A: Well, only three states in India have Casino’s, but Goa have  the biggest number, we have six floating casinos boats, also many 5 stars Hotels have Casino’s. In addition we have a very a great nightlife with lots of clubs and discotiques for young tourists. As you know, Goa has Portuguese’s influence and was ruled between 1510 – 1961, so Goa has western and eastern culture, cuisine and habits between families, it’s also the place where different religions, the Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, all living peacefully together and enjoy each other festivals, very friendly and very happy people are welcoming tourists from all over the world and for sure Goa will be a great holiday option for Arabs and Middle East travelers.



Q: Few months ago, India starts to issue Visa or arrival or Electronic Visa, can you give us more information.


A: Yes, 44 countries currently can get e-visa (Electronic Visa), travelers have to apply online and within three days, they get their Visa to their e-mail, they have to print it and travel, we have nine major Airports in India accepting e-visa including Goa Airport, citizens from UAE, Oman, Palestine, Jordan and more are among the 44 countries, more information can be viewed at <goa-tourism.com> in a special section giving full information, it’s e-visa not visa on arrival, they have to apply first , and soon India will offer e-visa to citizens from 150 countries.



Q: What about cuisine and food in Goa.


A: Goa is the capital of Cuisine, here you get all kinds cuisine from all parts of the world include Japanese, Chinese, western and eastern in addition to Arabic and Halal food , we import food from 40 countries, we have as well Lebanese restaurants offering Arabic and Halal food for Arabs and Middle East Travelers.



Q: What about your participation at ITB Berlin, I know that Goa is always here at ITB Berlin for years.


A: We are very happy this year, things goes positive, lot of Holiday packages has been provided by our Private members here in the stand, this year is looking very good especially  after the e-visa which as I explained will reach to 150 countries, makes India a very easy for people to travel to.



Q: How many tourists you receive in Goa in particular and in India in general.


A: India received 7.1 million foreign visitors between January and September last year, expected to raise 10-15%, Goa last year receive over 600,000 foreign visitors including Middle East and around 4 million local Indian tourists.



Q: One last question Sir, last time when I was in Goa, I knew that there is a miracle, can you tell us about that.


A: Yes, Goa is very important destination for Christianity, we have the largest third catidral in Asia and the Basilica of Bom Jesus which is classified as world heritage monument by UNESCO , here The mortal remains of St. Francis has been preserved for more than 400 years without using any artificial elements and tourist can see the body.



Thanks Mr. Nikhil, I’m very happy to be here in Goa stand and to see these bright colors and to listen to the good music.     


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