Tourism in Goa heavily dependent on weddings and events

Business tourists gravitate towards Goa’s laidback beach setting. Pic: Olga Vasilyeva/Shutterstock

GOA is one of India’s most popular tourist destinations, owing to its coastal setting and many charming fishing villages.

While leisure tourist numbers progressively dip, Goa is climbing up the ranks as a thriving destination for MICE and business tourism.

According to Hospitality Biz India, the state’s MICE market is expected to grow year-on-year as more corporates are looking to Goa for incentive trips, events, and offsite tours. In fact, MICE tourism has been identified as the next huge growth factor in the luxury and budget segments.

In an interview with Shekhar Divadkar, the business head of the hospitality division at Alcon Anil Counto Enterprises, he said, “Today the attention is on MICE and wedding markets. City based hotels are certainly more focused on this aspect and investing more into resources to get a fair share of this market.

“Today the response time is critical and both the branded as well as individual hotels have geared up to fast track action for conversions.”

A report in Herald Goa said that the conference market in the country is valued at about US$4.8 billion, and Goa is amongst the top five destinations for business and wedding tourism in the country.

Vikram Antao, general manager at Radisson Blu Resort, told the publication, “We get corporate from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. The pharmaceutical industry frequents our property. And yes, there are weddings from the smaller cities and towns of the country too.

“With regards to international groups we get groups from Europe. They stay for five or seven nights, whereas our domestic groups stay for two and a half to three days.”

He added that MICE tourism makes up between 65 to 70 percent of total hotel revenues.

Meanwhile, Tanya Veigas, senior sales manager at the Goa Marriott Resort and Spa, said, “MICE business helps form a base for the hotel which assists in maximizing room rates thus helping a hotel drive its occupancy.”

The local government is also helping Goa’s cause by introducing interesting activities such as helicopter and hot air balloon rides, improving infrastructure such as roads and railways, and offering tax waivers during the off-seasons.

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