Sunday, August 7, 2022

Ukraine crisis spells big trouble for Goa and Kerala tourism

“It’s a big concern for Goan tourism. If the region goes into a war, it is definitely going to impact the flow of tourists from not just Russia and Ukraine, but entire Eastern Europe into Goa.”

— Ralph DeSouza, President of Goa Chamber of Commerce & Industry and a hotelier

PRAVASISAMWAD.COM

The Ukraine crisis could affect the fortunes of the travel and tourism sector in India. While reports indicate that many stakeholders do not believe that the Russia- Ukraine crisis will escalate into a full-fledged war, there are still concerns in the sector, especially in destinations like Goa, Kerala. It is in these two states that tourists from Russia and the CIS countries come.

 

Goa has just started receiving chartered flights from Russia and other CIS countries, especially Ukraine, Kazakhstan, etc. “It’s a big concern for Goan tourism. If the region goes into a war, it is definitely going to impact the flow of tourists from not just Russia and Ukraine, but entire Eastern Europe into Goa,” Ralph DeSouza, President of Goa Chamber of Commerce & Industry (GCCI) and a hotelier himself was quoted saying.

Hoteliers in Goa have invested a lot of money to renovate and refurbish their properties to welcome foreign guests after the Covid-19 pandemic. A sizable number of foreign guests to Goa is from Russia, the CIS, and the Eastern European countries “In case NATO, EU, UK, etc., get into the conflict, there is no hope left for the industry,” said DeSouza. Goa gets charters from at least a dozen places in Eastern Europe and the Russia, CIS region. “We get charters from at least four to five stations in Russia alone, including Siberia,” De Souza said.

 

Baby Mathew, MD, Somatheeram Ayurvedic group, and Vice Chairman of Kerala Travel Mart Society (KTM) has another worry since the Kerala Travel Mart is scheduled for the first week of May. There are many buyers registered and confirmed for the show from Russia and Ukraine, said Mathew

 

The Ukranian crisis could also trouble Kerala. Kerala does not get Russian charters but the state gets a lot of Russian guests from the CIS market for Ayurveda and wellness packages. “There are Ukrainian and Russian guests in Kerala now for Ayurvedic packages,” according to James Kodianthara, MD, Concord Exotic Voyages.

Baby Mathew, MD, Somatheeram Ayurvedic group, and Vice Chairman of Kerala Travel Mart Society (KTM) has another worry since the Kerala Travel Mart is scheduled for the first week of May. There are many buyers registered and confirmed for the show from Russia and Ukraine, said Mathew. Almost 20 per cent of the total wellness tourism guests that Kerala receives are from Russia and the CIS countries like Ukraine, he said. “There has been a steady flow of guests from Russia and Ukraine to Kerala in recent years. We are really concerned about the crisis,” he said

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