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Panaji, May 16 (IANS) A record 2.7 million tourists landed in Goa last year, the tourism department has said.
This included 22.5 lakh Indian tourists and 4.5 lakh foreigners. The coastal state, famous for its beaches, also witnessed an increase in arrival of chartered flights.
According to Goa tourism department statistics, 987 chartered flights carrying 2.15 lakh tourists landed in Goa as against 910 flights with 1.69 lakh tourists in 2011-12 from nine international destinations.
Of these, 742 flights came from Russia and 152 from Britain.
Similarly, the number of cruise ship arrivals in Goa has also seen an increase, with 25 vessels carrying 22,233 passengers in 2012-13 berthing at the Mormugao Port Trust, 40 km from here.
In 2010-11, this stood at 20 vessels and 11,946 passengers.
"In 2012-13, Goa did extremely well, better than previous years. We are delighted to see the upswing in the arrivals of domestic and foreign tourists, which touched an all-time high," said Tourism Minister Dilip Parulekar.
He added that the state had emerged as a preferred destination for conferences and the like as well as weddings.
"Positive steps have been taken by the Goa government such as introduction of water sports policy, security force on Goan beaches, improvement of tourism infrastructure, marketing and promotional," he said.