Caravela Beach Resort promotes Goa to New York
Caravela Beach Resort, in association with the Consul General of India in New York, recently organized an interaction to promote Goa in the US market. The consulate had sent out invitations with a colorful Goa flyer to travel agents, media, event planners, opinion makers and NRIs. The meeting was attended by Sunder G. Advani, CMD, Advani Hotels & Resorts (India), Randhir Jaiswal, Consul General of India in New York and Dr Varun Jeph, Deputy Consul General of India in New York, among others.
Addressing the gathering, Advani said Goa has something for everyone. Citing the 2022 TripAdvisor rating, he said that 4 of the best beaches in Asia are found in South Goa, namely Cavelossim, Agonda, Benaulim and Varca. “There are so many beaches in Goa and each beach is different from the others. Some are purely for relaxation while others are for party people and nature lovers. The Goa government has appointed an agency that provides lifeguards to major beaches. The government has made arrangements to police the beaches and issue fines to offenders to keep the beaches clean and prevent vehicles on the beach,” he said and urged participants to visit Goa once in their lifetime.
Advani also reminded the NRIs present of the message conveyed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Finland that they should ask their friends to accompany them to India.
He further informed that Goa is safe and stable with exciting dive spots for scuba diving. Beginners as well as non-swimmers can start on the shallow end of the sea, while experienced and experienced divers can directly choose the more adventurous dive sites, including cliffs, caverns, reefs, pinnacles and wrecks,” he said.
Moreover, Grande Island is famous for offering the best adventure water sports like snorkeling and scuba diving in Goa. With an intensity of 7 meters to 25 meters, the surrounding area offers some exceptional dive sites to choose from. Big Island is very close to Dabolim International Airport.
Further describing the product offering of the state, Advani said that Goa has 11 rivers. “A new parallel bridge is nearing completion over the Zuari River which connects the airport to the capital and North Goa. It will be a great tourist attraction at the height of the Eiffel Tower. Another popular tourist attraction is the Doodhsagar Waterfalls. Goa has a large forest cover which is the habitat of tigers, leopards, other wild animals and birds among others,” he informed, adding that Goa celebrates Carnival on the same day as Brazil.
Goa has three golf courses including the first at Caravela Beach Resort. Goa is a favorite destination for weddings and dating.
Goa is also the only state to have casinos. “Six full-fledged ship-based casinos are anchored in the river at Panjim. There are also about ten electronic casinos in 5-star hotels. I was blessed to own the first electronic casino in Goa at our resort and also the first full fledged casino on our ship called Caravela. We sold our Casino Caravela to a company that owns three of the six casinos, he revealed.
Americans who had visited Goa said they loved Goa. He suggested that they should make Goa the first point of entry into India as it would be less of a culture shock and would also be the last stop in India to recuperate after seeing monuments such as the Taj Mahal. “Goa is now a 365 day destination and tourists come to Goa all year round although room rates are lower during the months of July to September,” he informed.
The CMD informed that 937,000 foreign tourists visited Goa in 2019 but this number dropped to 303,000 in 2020 due to COVID-19. “Goa has suffered the most as international flights have been restricted to a few cities until March 27, 2022. Goa is the only Indian state to receive international charter flights from Frankfurt and London 35 years ago. Goa has also received foreign tourists on regular Qatar Airways and Air India flights,” he said.
He also informed that the Goa government is also focusing on developing world-class tourism infrastructure in the state. “The Chief Minister of Goa, Dr. Pramod Sawant is spending huge sums to improve Goa’s infrastructure. He is very interested in providing support to the tourism industry and was planning to join me at this event but was unable to come due to urgent issues,” Advani said.
Regarding accommodation, Advani, citing statistics from the Ministry of Tourism, said that Goa has 44 hotels with 4,400 rooms approved by the Indian government. 15 of these hotels have been classified as 5 star luxury. 15 others are rated 5 stars and the rest are in lower categories. The Taj group has 6 hotels in Goa, including a Convention Center hotel as part of a merger with Cidade Hotel. Marriott has hotels in the capital, a “W”, Le-Méridien, Westin and Fairfield. Hilton has 2 properties in Goa. IHG has a Holiday Inn. Radisson and Grand Hyatt and Novotel are also present in Goa.
Tourists can reach Goa from New York on Air India direct flights to Mumbai or Delhi and take one of the frequent connecting flights to Goa. They can also fly to Dubai or Doha and be transferred directly to Goa. There are now connecting flights between most major cities in India and Goa airport.
He said he had visited Hawaii, Barbados, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Bali, Thailand, etc., but fell in love with Goa and decided to build a hotel in Goa in 1988 using the same architectural firm that also designed the Bellagio and the Wynne in Las Vegas. than Hawaii’s famous resorts.
Murari Mohan Jha