PANAJI – Global recession has badly hit Goa’s tourism industry forcing almost 20 percent downfall in tourist arrival to the coastal state, experts feel.

“The global recession is taking its toll on Goa’s tourism industry. There is a massive reduction in scheduled and chartered flights arriving from international and national destinations leading to 20 pc drop in tourist arrival,” Travel and Tourism Association of Goa’s President Ralf D’Souza told reporters yesterday.

Besides, due to fall in demand for air tickets, the number of flights at Goa’s Dabolim Airport has plunged down from 42 flights per day to mere 25, the TTAG chief said.

“There will be further depression during the winter season,” he said.

“Also, outsourcing of visas and tour operators charging 60 pounds as a surcharge is contributing to the tourist downfall,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, the hotel industry, which seems to be the worst affected is making all efforts to woo tourists slashing food rates and providing cheap accomodations.

“The industry is ready to operate at much lesser profit margin but other factors keep the tourists away,” D’Souza said.