India’s Tourism Minister will visit Jerusalem next month to discuss Israel’s interest in opening new tourist routes.
Parulekar told TOI that the government has received an invitation from the Israeli government for the visit. “Israeli government is keen to start scheduled as well as charter flights to Goa,” said Parulekar.
He added that his department is also keen to start Australia-Singapore-Goa flights to tap tourist potential of Southeast Asia.
During their visit to Israel, other aspects of tourism will also be examined. “We will also study how hinterland tourism is promoted in Israel,” Parulekar said.
Every year Goa receives large number of Israeli tourists. The tourism department feels that there still remains a lot of potential to attract Israeli tourists to Goa. “Certainly the potential is huge and we have to tap it,” said Pamela Mascarenhas, deputy director of tourism when asked whether the direct flights will further infuse tourism flow to Goa from Israel.
Tourism is one of the major sources of income for Israel with as it has offers attractions for tourists in terms of historical, religious sites and beach resorts.
The country also has many museums.
Despite the ongoing global economic crisis, the Israeli tourism industry thrived in 2012 with a total of 3.5 million people visiting the country during the year.
On the other hand, foreign tourist inflow to Goa during the recently concluded season was 4.5 lakh. Moreover, the State is yet to promote many aspects of tourism.