Panaji: A record 27.8 lakh tourists visited the coastal hot-spot of Goa in 2012-13, marking a 4 per cent increase over the previous year, official figures say.
"Goa registered a record arrival of 27.8 lakh tourists for the year 2012-13, of which, 4.5 lakh were foreigners. The previous year saw arrival of 26.7 lakh tourists, including 4.45 lakh foreigners," Goa Tourism Department said in a statement on Wednesday.
The state also witnessed increase in arrival of chartered flights. As many as 987 chartered flights from nine international destinations, carrying 2.15 lakh tourists, landed in Goa during October 2012 to mid-May 2013, against 910 flights with 1.69 lakh tourists in 2011-12.
Maximum of them - 742 - were from Russia, followed by the United Kingdom (152). The number of cruise ships that docked in Goa too went up: 25 vessels carrying 22,233 passengers came in 2012-13, as against 20 vessels carrying 11,946 passengers in 2011-12.
"We are delighted to see the upswing in the arrival of domestic and foreign tourists, which touched an all-time high," Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar said. Goa had emerged as a preferred destination for meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE), weddings and also for leisure, he said.