Tag Archives: Goa

Goa’s Shigmo festivities to kick-start from March 3

After a successful Carnaval celebration, Goa is set to usher in Shigmo – a festival of colour, costumes and culture scheduled from March 3-17, 2018, beginning with the celebration of Holi. During the Shigmo parades, one gets a chance to take a glimpse at the life of a Goan which is depicted in elaborate folk performances by local men and women dancing tirelessly in huge processions. Traditional folk dances and performance of mythological scenes is the highlight of this parade. On the day of Shigmo, people in Goa are dressed up in colourful outfits, holding multi-coloured flags and playing musical instruments like the Dhol Tasha and flutes in processions across the cities along with floats that parade through the streets. Folk dances like Ghode Modni and Fugdi are performed on the streets in massive troupes along the procession. An interesting element of the Shigmo is the tradition of covering each other with colourful powder and bright paints. The float parade is organised across different cities of Goa like Ponda, Margao, Vasco, Sanguem, Sanquelim, Valpoi, Bicholim, Panjim, Mapusa, Pernem, Canacona, Quepem, Curchorem, Cuncolim and Dharbandora.  

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Cyprus offers visa services in Goa through VFS Global

Residents of Goa planning a visit to Cyprus can now apply for their visas at the new VFS Global Cyprus Visa Application Centre in Panjim. The centre brings Cyprus visa services closer to home, eliminating the need for applicants from Goa to travel to a neighbouring state to submit their applications. The centre in Goa was inaugurated by His Excellency Demetrios A. Theophylactou, High Commissioner of Cyprus to India. Theophylactou said, “The Cyprus Visa Application Centre in Goa is one out of 16 VFS global centres serving Cyprus in India. The opening signifies a steady increase in visa related queries. Consequently, this centre would further expand and enhance visa services, and promote people-to-people contacts, thus contributing to our bilateral relations. The centre would work in close cooperation with the Consular Section of the High Commission to achieve the goal of timely and efficient issuance of visas.” Vinay Malhotra, Chief Operating Officer–Middle East and South Asia, VFS Global said, “VFS Global has served the Government of Cyprus in India since 2015, and the expansion of our services on their behalf to 16 cities in India is a testament of their faith in our ability to offer applicants best-in-class visa services.”

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AccorHotels to focus on growing business, leisure travellers

Through its upcoming properties in Kochi and Sriperumbudur, AccorHotels will further highlight its focus on catering to the growing base of business and leisure travellers. Jean-Michel Cassé, Chief Operating Officer, India and South Asia, AccorHotels, says, “Mid-segment hotels form a larger percentage of the total room inventory, also accounting for nearly 50 per cent of all the hotel rooms in the country. In this segment, we see a significant demand and supply gap, which we seek to bridge with our Novotel and ibis brands. We see this growing demand as a potential growth engine for the future. Our recent openings in Lucknow, Dwarka, Chennai OMR, Pune and Goa along with upcoming openings in Kochi and Sriperumbudur further highlight our focus to cater to the needs of a diversified growing base of business and leisure travellers alike.” In India, AccorHotels has a network of 46 hotels spanning across nine international brands in 22 cities.

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Goa enforces strict rules for its annual Carnaval

Goa Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar along with other officials and representatives from the government, Goa police, traffic police, municipal bodies have deliberated over the last few weeks to take stock of every minute detail towards ensuring the successful conduct of Goa’s gala festival – Carnaval, set to be held from February 10-13, 2018. Polluting vehicles in the junk car category will not be allowed in the parade and no offensive exposure will be permitted. Consumption of liquor and carrying of lethal weapons will not be permitted on the floats during the parade. All committees are in the process of submitting their centrewise programmes to be carried out during Carnaval. Likewise, committees have been directed to take assistance from the police and district administration for ensuring security arrangements at the events and parade routes. Float parades in the four major cities will be held as follows – Panjim on February 10, Margao on February 11, Vasco on February 12 and Mapusa on February 13. All floats in the parades will be screened  by a committee to ensure that it follows the theme and does not violate any of the rules and regulations.

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Goa in the list of top five Indian states in tourism

Goa has been ranked third in the list of top five states in tourism as per the 5th biennial Hotelivate State Ranking Survey for Tourism in association with the World Travel and Tourism Council-India Initiative (WTTC-II). While Delhi and Maharashtra occupy the top two places, Goa stands third followed by Tamil Nadu and Gujarat. The survey   which looked  at states from the hospitality industry’s standpoint considered 11 parameters  namely, state expenditure on tourism, number of tourist visits, number of branded hotel rooms, GSDP per capital, literacy, aircraft movement, ease of doing business, urbanization, road and rail network, marketing campaigns and some intangible aspects. Manohar Ajgaonkar, Minister for Tourism, Goa, said, “Goa Tourism is in the spotlight again for achieving success in various tourism parameters. It should be our endeavour to get to the top and work on improving in those parameters where we are lagging behind so as to attract more tourists to Goa.” Nilesh Cabral, Chairman, Goa Tourism Development Corporation, said, “It has always been the endeavour of the Goa Tourism Development Corporation to work with various segments of tourism whether infrastructure, accommodation, tourism activities, tourism related development and so on.”

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Finnair to open new route to Goa from Nov 1

Finnair is poised to enter the largest expansion in its history during the upcoming winter season with new routes opening to 20 intercontinental destinations including India, Mexico, Cuba, Dominican Republic and Lapland. Finnair is opening new routes to Goa from November 1, 2017; to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico on November 5; to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on November 30 and to Havana, Cuba on December 1. Juha Järvinen, Chief Commercial Officer, Finnair says, “This winter, we are entering the biggest expansion phase in our airline’s 94-year history. We are opening several new destinations, expanding our network and fleet including our eleven Airbus A350s, adding capacity to Finnish Lapland and taking important strides in our customer experience. It’s a very exciting time to fly Finnair.” Finnair currently flies six weekly to Delhi, two weekly to Goa, and 16 weekly to Bangkok, among other Asian destinations. Due to the continued increase in demand for Lapland as a tourist destination, Finnair is also heavily expanding its capacity to several Lapland airports for the upcoming winter season. The airline is increasing its capacity to Lapland by over 20 per cent. As of mid-December, Finnair will start flying new non-stop flights to Lapland airports from London Gatwick, Paris and Zurich. Finnair is also increasing its capacity from Helsinki airport to several Lapland airports for the entire winter season and offers a total of 430,000 seats to five of Lapland’s airports during the winter season.

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Strongest-ever participation by India at IFTM Top Resa 2017

India’s participation grew manifolds at IFTM Top Resa MAP Pro, France’s only multi-sector travel and tourism trade show. Indian states, such as, Kerala, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Goa received an overwhelming response from this market. India Tourism and the private sector created a buzz and saw great potential at the event held from September 25-28. The four-day event was attended by 30,929 industry professionals, demonstrating the vitality and energy that characterise the travel and tourism industry. As many as 1,694 brands were spread across 543 stands.

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MoCA grants ‘in principle’ approval for setting up of 18 Greenfield Airports

The Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Government of India (GoI), has granted ‘in principle’ approval for setting up of 18 Greenfield Airports in the country. The list of these airport along with the estimated cost is: Mopa in Goa (approx. Rs. 3100 cr), Navi Mumbai (approx. Rs. 16704 cr), Shirdi (approx. Rs. 320.54 cr) and Sindhudurg (approx. Rs. 520 cr) in Maharashtra, Bijapur (approx. Rs. 150 cr), Gulbarga (approx. Rs. 13.78 cr in initial phase), Hasan (approx. Rs. 592 cr) and Shimoga (approx. Rs. 38.91 cr) in Karnataka, Kannur in Kerala (approx. Rs. 1892 cr), Durgapur in West Bengal (approx. Rs. 670 cr), Dabra in Madhya Pradesh (approx. Rs. 200 cr), Pakyong in Sikkim (approx. Rs. 553.53 cr), Karaikal in Puducherry (approx. Rs.170 cr), Kushinagar in Uttar Pradesh (approx. Rs. 448 cr), Dholera in Gujarat (approx. Rs. 1712 cr) and Dagadarthi Mendal, Nellore Dist. (approx. Rs. 293 cr), Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram District near Visakhapatnam (approx. Rs. 2260 cr) and Oravakallu in Kurnool District (approx. Rs. 200 cr), Andhra Pradesh. The timeline for construction of airport projects depends upon many factors such as land acquisition, availability of mandatory clearances, financial closure, etc. by the individual operator. This information was given by the Minister of State for Civil Aviation Jayant Sinha in written reply to a question in Lok Sabha. The construction of airport project depends upon many factors such as land acquisition, availability of mandatory clearances, financial closure, etc. by the individual operator. The State Government of Maharashtra has completed the tendering process and MIAL is the highest bidder.

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Fly direct Goa-Surat on SpiceJet

SpiceJet has started its daily direct flight service from Goa to Surat. This will be the first ever direct connection between Goa and Surat by any airline. As the first nonstop flight between Goa and Surat, the new flight will provide travellers with a convenient travel option, thus saving their time while making their journey hassle free. To cater to the peak summer rush, from March to October, SpiceJet has unleashed a whole new summer schedule wherein the airline has added 19 new domestic and 3 new international flights, thus offering more seats and connecting key metros and cities.

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StayWell Hospitality Group launches Leisure Inn Shrey, Jodhpur

Australian hotel management company, StayWell Hospitality Group has extended its international footprint with the opening of its fifth property in Rajasthan, the Leisure Inn Shrey in Jodhpur. Rohit Vig, Managing Director for StayWell Hospitality Group in India, said that the opening of the new property solidifies the brand’s presence in the region. “We have signed 12 hotels under the Park Regis and Leisure Inn Brands, which will result in the opening of properties in Hyderabad, Goa, Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Gurgaon–Sohna Road and Greater Noida,” he said. The opening of Leisure Inn Shrey in partnership with Hukam Constructions & Hotels Pvt. Ltd will deliver a roof-top restaurant and conference facilities along with well-appointed rooms and international service standards that the Leisure Inn brand is famous for. Additionally, the hotel will house the famous vegetarian restaurant ‘Grand Chanakya’ which has a sister restaurant under the same name in Jaipur at the Leisure Inn Grand Chanakya. Shranik Jain, Owner of Hukam Constructions & Hotels Pvt., said that the partnership with StayWell Hospitality Group was about aligning with the best possible global partner to enter the hospitality sector for the first time. “Our partnership will deliver premium hospitality expertise and a world-class experience to not only our guests but to the region, it’s an alignment we are extremely proud of as we feel we are in the best possible position for future success,” he said.

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