PANAJI, India – Goa and Rajasthan are high on the list of preferred wedding destinations in India for urban tourists from the United States, a top tourism official here said Tuesday.
Speaking to reporters after his return from a promotional tour to the US, Goa tourism director Swapnil Naik said the US traveller is drawn to India because of its rich history and cultural heritage, apart from its nature, wildlife, hinterland and adventure tourism.
Naik said that with Goa’s sustained popularity with European tourists, mainly from Britain, Russia and Scandinavian countries, targeting US tourists would help in broadening the state’s tourist base.
Sanjay Srivastava, Goa’s chief secretary who accompanied Naik on the promotional tour, said that the US tourism trade fraternity had evinced keen interest in the possibility of promoting Goa as a wedding destination.
He added that the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) has invited the Goa government to participate in its annual convention and trade show at Las Vegas in Nevada in mid-June.
The Goan delegation’s promotional tour in association with Atlanta-based AAHOA covered western American cities like Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
“This is a start we have made by trying to tap the US market. The last time we had gone there was in 2007. But this time we plan to build on these initial contacts we have made,” Srivastava said.
Goa is already a sought after beach wedding destination. Only last month, celebrity couple Lara Dutta, a former Miss Universe, and tennis ace Mahesh Bhupathy got married in elaborate style at a five-star resort in north Goa.