#CongregationsIndia: Events Like Sunburn will Help Goa Economy Get Back to Normal -Nilesh Shah, TTAG

Industry Watch | January 4, 2021 | News

Karan Singh Sunburn Percept Travel and Tourism Association of Goa Nilesh Shah

Nilesh Shah, President, Travel & Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG) was in conversation with Karan Singh, CEO, Sunburn Global on ‘Breaking New Ground in Tourism with Event IPs: The Sunburn Goa Saga’ at ‘CONGREGATIONS INDIA: Government, Political & Religious Events Summit’ organised by EVENTFAQS Media on December 24, 2020. 

Booming Goa Tourism
Talking to session moderator Singh about Goa’s booming tourism, Shah said, “Initially, we brought in the safety protocols, but we saw that the protocols around the tourism industry were not picking up, or good for safety. Then as test cases came down, we persuaded the Government to remove the testing procedure, instead follow the three-month graph regularly by all industry stakeholders. In September, they opened up for tourists so the booking rate rose from 4-5% to 15%, October saw a leap from 20-25% to 35% in certain categories and November was very good, being Diwali and start of the holiday season.” 

“But overall, let’s understand that for each one of us, it’s a matter of survival. I would like to bring it to everybody's notice that Goa is the only State that has not gone back and forth once it started gradually opening up all sectors as per the Government guidelines. There is no night curfew, but the Government and industry are following protocols in their properties very strictly, which tourists spread by word of mouth; as a result, more tourists are coming to Goa. If you see the track record of the last three-four months, there is an increase in tourism and Goa has become the best performing State in India because of the protocols and overall positivity all around,” he added. 

Domestic tourists vs foreign tourists
On being asked by Karan Singh whether domestic growth is making up for the lack of international tourists, and by when he sees international tourists getting back, Shah explained, “One foreign tourist is equivalent to five domestic tourists, because foreign tourists who come to Goa opt for long halts as they stay for a minimum of 15, 21 or 45 days. So, looking at that, foreign tourists help the economy.” 

The Sunburn Goa saga
Talking about what role events like Sunburn play in State Tourism, Shah said, “Sunburn is among the top 10 brands in the world and when it is held in Goa, it fills the rooms and helps tourism on the domestic front. I think all of these events are a must in Goa, because they help people prior to the event, after the event and during the event. It is a very good marketing exercise for the State of Goa wherein we get publishers from India, and with the right type of positioning of Goa, and it helps to attract tourists round the year.”

Shah added, “Because of these events, we find the seasons getting extended and the hotels filled up – giving all operators in Goa business. As a result, Goa flourishes round the year. As an industry, we support such programmes and events. Of course, during the COVID-19 pandemic, with social distancing, such events may be challenging, but with things getting back to normal, I think next season definitely will have Sunburn and many more events happening in Goa.”

Shah, President of Travel & Tourism Association of Goa (TTAG), claims Goa is the best performing State in India in terms of Tourism.

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