The Weekend Leader - Raindrop tourism

Wow! It’s time for 'raindrop tourism' in Goa

Azera Rahman   |   Panaji


Vol 2 | Issue 24

The shacks are missing, there is no water sporting activity and the beaches are much less crowded. Yet a growing number of people, especially domestic tourists, are discovering a different, more lush and refreshed Goa during the off season - the monsoons.

Typically, the tourist season in Goa begins in late September and continues through March. This is the time when the weather is dry and pleasant and tourists - from India and across the world - make a beeline to soak in the goodness of the sun-kissed beaches and discover the quaint architecture of the churches, temples and mosques.

Alluring beauty: The rain soaked beaches are a perfect getaway for stressed minds (Photo: IANS)

However, the rains unveil a different beauty of the emerald land on the west coast of India and the state's tourism department has been trying to attract tourists during this time of the year, calling it 'raindrop tourism'.

Said Ashwini Sharma, a businessman from Assam who was in Goa with his family for a holiday: "I have come to Goa before in the winters. But this time I decided to get my wife and children around this time because the kids have their summer vacations now."

"For some the rains may act as a spoiler, especially since it starts pouring every now and then, but my children are having a blast!" said Sharma, who is staying near the Calangute beach.

"The beaches are just as beautiful, the sea as alluring and the greenery everywhere an absolute delight," he added.

Pooja Singh, who was also holidaying with her husband and son in north Goa where the more well-known beaches are, said: "My husband is a travel agent and he suggested that we come to Goa for our summer break instead of a hill station as usual."

"And the rains unveil a different beauty of this place. It's so green," said Singh, who hails from Delhi.

According to official figures, during monsoon Goa receives only 10 percent of the total tourist inflow. In 2010, the state received over 2.64 million tourists. But with promotional packages, discounts and festivals like Sao Joao, which has revellers jumping into water bodies to welcome the monsoon, there have been attempts to raise the figure.

The monsoon, however, brings along some lurking dangers because of the swelling sea. "During monsoon, the sea is much more wild. We keep manning the beach and advise holidayers not to swim during high tide," said Mahesh, a lifeguard, while doing the rounds of Calangute beach in a gypsy car.

"However, not everyone pays heed and there have been accidents. Just this season we have rescued 120 people from drowning," he added.

"From June to around September, it's off season, when it rains a lot and sporting activities are called off as a safety measure. Everything, from the shacks on the beaches to the sports to the crowds, comes back after that," he added. - IANS


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